Teacher avoids statutory rape charge by marrying 17-year-old student
A 42-year-old North Carolina teacher escaped charges of statutory rape by marrying the teenager she was accused of having sex with.
WGN-TV reported on Monday that Leah Gayle Shipman married the 17-year-old boy, identified as Johnny Ray Ison, just six days after being granted a divorce from her previous husband.
Shipman was facing a sentence of 15 years in prison after being accused of statutory rape for sleeping with Ison when he was 15 years old. But North Carolina state law states that Ison cannot be forced to testify against his spouse, forcing prosecutors to drop their case.
The Wilmington Star-News reported that Ison had admitted to sleeping with Shipman, but those statements would not be admissible in court without new testimony.
Shipman was sentenced to a suspended 30-day jail sentence and 12 months of probation and must pay $345 in restitution. She must also give up her teaching license.
Watch WGN’s report on Shipman’s avoidance of further charges, aired Jan. 21, 2013, below.