Teacher sex case deal involved 2 teens

February 11, 2009 3:49:59 PM PST
The trial is over for a former Spring ISD teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student. After two days of deliberations, a verdict seemed impossible. So Shannon Hrozek agreed to plead guilty in exchange for no jail time.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Shannon Hrozek was actually accused of two crimes, involving two different students. The plea deal takes care of both those cases. That means the teacher can start over, but not in the classroom.

"Ms. Hrozek, you are before the court charged with two cases of improper relationship with a student," said Judge Susan Brown. "How you plead, ma'am, to those two cases?"

"Guilty," answered Hrozek.

With her guilty plea, Hrozek accepted an agreement that ended her sexual abuse trial and her teaching career.

She said, "I want to thank everybody who supported me throughout this entire ordeal, and the people who stepped up at the end to support me."

Prosecutors accused the 43-year-old of performing oral sex on two students in her classroom at Westfield High School last year. The first victim was 16 years old and the other was 15. Both are football players.

"The pleadings on the improper relationship between educator and student indicated that there was sexual contact, that the defendant touched each of the complainants' genitals," explained prosecutor Denise Oncken.

Hrozek was being tried on the case involving the 16-year-old victim. After a week of testimony, the jury became deadlocked during deliberations. A final vote, according to two jurors, was eight for innocent and four for guilty.

"I just want to thank the jury for taking their job as seriously as they did," Hrozek said.

But two jurors who returned to the courtroom to watch Hrozek's sentencing were not satisfied by the plea bargain.

"Because I feel she needs to be listed as a sex offender," said juror number 30.

Juror number three said, "She needs to go to jail."

The two jurors told Eyewitness News that all of the jurors felt something had happened, but they didn't feel the state had proven its case.

Hrozek's agreement keeps her out of jail and off the sex offender registry. She'll serve ten years probation, and during that time she cannot have unsupervised contact with children under 17.

"She is not a sexual predator," said defense attorney Katherine Scardino. "I don't believe she is a perverted individual with some sort of sexual problem. I think she will get counseling and she will be taken out of the education field."

If Hrozek does successfully complete the terms of her probation, she will not have a felony conviction on her record.

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