A former Chesterfield substitute teacher was sentenced to a year behind bars after reaching a plea agreement stemming from charges she had a sexual relationship with a student.
Anna Michelle Walters was originally facing two felony charges, but accepted a plea deal Thursday that reduced the crimes to misdemeanors.
It's a whole new world for Walters, 24, who once taught students. Now she's serving time and will soon have to register as a sex offender.
When she entered the courtroom, the former substitute teacher wouldn't deny or confirm her sexual relationship with an under-age student.
The charges surfaced after an 18-year-old former Cosby High School student posted on Twitter, claiming he had sex with Walters and then uploaded racy photos that he claimed she sent him. Investigators did not pursue that case since that student was an adult, but they say it opened the door to an investigation that revealed an underage student who said he also had sex with Walters sometime between March and April last year inside of a classroom.
"That's not something people want to have to worry about when they send their children to school. They want to know they're in a safe learning environment," said Prosecutor Duncan Minton.
Minton worked with Walters, agreeing to a plea deal, reducing her two felony charges to two misdemeanor offenses, sexual battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Her attorney, Craig Cooley, was cordial but did not want to comment on the case. Although Minton said the victim's family and the Commonwealth are pleased with the outcome.
"They're concerned for the choices the defendant made but they're concerned for the choices he made as well. He certainly could've harmed his future as well with the choices he made. They understood that but they thought at the same time there needed to be some punishment for her," Minton added.
While Walters was sentenced to a year behind bars, she could get out after 6 months for good behavior. She must also continue counseling.
The 18-year-old student who initially posted pictures on Twitter he claimed were of Walters took to his account again Thursday, weighing in on Walter's guilty plea. He wrote "She needed to go away for like 5 years… Only reason I'm angry is because if this was a guy teacher and a girl at a high school, the guy would never see daylight again…Predator."
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