Sunday, October 15, 2006

Susan Sharp And Sex With Teenage Boys

A former southeast Missouri middle school teacher faces sentencing Dec. 19 after pleading guilty to four felony counts for having sex with underage teenage boys.

Susan Sharp of New Madrid originally pleaded not guilty before reaching an agreement with prosecutors Wednesday to plead guilty to two counts each of second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy. The case was moved toButler County on a change of venue.

Sharp, 49, was removed from her teaching position in November 2004 after the allegations surfaced. None of the boys were students at New Madrid Central Middle School, where Sharp taught.

The Missouri Attorney General's office, which handled the case, recommended the maximum seven-year sentence on each count, to run concurrently.

"The conduct was egregious, which is why we asked the court for the maximum penalty," said John Fougere, a spokesman for Attorney General Jay Nixon.

Sharp was accused of having sex with the boys on Oct. 17, 2004, at her home, and giving them prescription medication.

Information in the case emerged after a 15-year-old boy tried to kill himself with an overdose of an anti-anxiety drug.

During a routine follow-up by the sheriff's department, the teen disclosed that he and Sharp had had sex the week before he attempted suicide. He said he'd struggled with suicidal thoughts and gone to Sharp's home, taking more of her pills and, he believed, having sex with her again.

The sheriff's department also took statements from three other boys, all 15, who described an evening of kissing, oral sex, intercourse and pill-popping at Sharp's home.

The case was moved out of New Madrid County, in part because Sharp is from a prominent family there. Her father, Van Sharp, was the county clerk for more than 40 years and her mother ran a popular catering business.

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