This past May, the Michigan Court of Appeals determined that just cause did not exist to fire a school teacher for engaging in sex acts with a male mannequin. As stated by the court, the “coarse conduct” was neither inappropriate nor criminal. The teacher performed the acts during a bachelor/bachelorette party and pictures of her were placed on a website without her consent.
Today, the Michigan Supreme Court entered an order denying review of the decision, signaling that it was not persuaded by the School District that the question should be reviewed. As a result, the Court of Appeals opinion stands and the teacher is allowed to continue her job.
The distinction between what constitutes a permissible sexually related act and a criminal act is a “slippery slope.” In some cases, actions that are taken in jest or without intent to harm another may be considered sex crimes. For example, public urination, flashing and streaking are considered “indecent exposure” and punishable as misdemeanors. Here, although school district labeled the actions “lewd,” the court was not persuaded. The teacher’s actions were performed while off duty, at an adult venue and did not involve any students.
For more information, or if you have been charged with a sex crime, contact Grabel & Associates, Michigan’s premier sex crimes defense firm.