Former Catholic high school teacher Sandra "Beth" Geisel, charged in the statutory rape of a 16-year-old male in May, was sentenced Monday to six months in jail, including time already served.
Judy Sanders of CBS's Albany, N.Y. affiliate WRGB reports that Geisel will then be placed in a residential treatment program for alcoholism, put under supervised probation for 10 years, and placed on the sex offender registry.
Sanders says Geisel, 42 and the mother of four, "looked fresher, less hung over" Monday as she told the court, "I recognize my mistakes and I'm sorry. I take full responsibility."
Geisel admitted raping the teen at her home and in the press box of the Christian Brothers Academy football field last spring, and backed away from her earlier claim that she'd been forced and coerced into sex acts when she was too drunk to resist.
"She said she's responsible for her actions, and she's sorry that her family and the community have been hurt by her actions," observed Geisel's lawyer, Don Kinsella.
But, says Sanders, Judge Stephen Herrick said Geisel is also a victim.
He said, "You crossed the line from teacher to consort, and that's totally unacceptable."
Then Herrick added, "The 16-year-old is a victim in the statutory sense only. He certainly was not victimized by you in any sense of the word. … You misunderstood attention as affection and failed to realize you were being manipulated and sexually abused, and you became a playmate."That statement made the boy's parents furious.
The accuser's attorney, Paul Freeman said, "The family is disappointed with the judge's statement that Ms. Geisel was a victim in this situation and that she was in fact the one sexually abused. That statement to them is an outrage."
It angered Albany County, N.Y. District Attorney David Soares as well.
He said, "The idea that he didn't see any of the young boys as victims is offensive."
The family is considering a lawsuit against the school, but the boys' academy's lawyer says it's relieved the sordid chapter is ending.
"I believe," said Mae D'Agostino, "that the CBA acted appropriately in this. I think it's best just to put this to bed. It's very sad all the way around."
In September, Geiselto the rape and to driving while intoxicated while out on bail in August.
Geisel has been behind bars since that bail was revoked in August after the DWI arrest.
With good behavior and time served, she'll be out of jail before Christmas, Sanders says.
The CBA fired Geisel on June 10 after, it's been reported, she was caught having sex in a car with a 17-year-old student.
It was during the investigation of that incident that the 16-year-old came forward.
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