Christy Lynn Martin, a former Azalea Middle School teacher, was sentenced to five (5) years probation Tuesday for "sexting" an eighth grade student, according to the St. Pete Times.
Martin, 33, pleaded guilty to Transmitting Pornographic Images through an Electronic Device and Transmitting Material Harmful to a Minor. In exchange for her guilty plea, she was sentenced to probation, will have to register as a Sex Offender, wear an electronic monitor and undergo therapy.
The charges stem from Martin's relationship with an eighth-grade boy. According to authorities, they called each other "husband" and "wife," kissed each other and sent each other cell phone photos of their private parts.
They did not have sex and did not see each other outside of school, according to information contained in a search warrant related to the case.
"I realize how wrong I was," Martin said in court Tuesday, wearing a pale pink sweater, hair pulled into a ponytail. "I accept full responsibility for my behavior.... I am extremely ashamed and remorseful for my actions."
Martin was arrested in March and had been out of jail on bond.
According to the search warrant, the boy, then 14, said he took two photos of himself on his silver Samsung Messenger cell phone, and the teacher admitted taking three photos of herself on her red Sprint cell phone.
The boy sent his photos to Martin, and Martin acknowledged receiving them. She also admitted sending the photos of herself, but officials deleted the name of the recipient. Photos of a woman's genitals did appear on the boy's cell phone.
Martin did not admit to calling the boy her husband but did say she threatened him with "divorce," because he had "too many little girlfriends."
The document also says the boy touched Martin on her buttocks outside her clothing, but that she did not touch him in that way.
"You done messed up my son's life," the victim's mother told Martin in court Tuesday. "He thinks it's OK to go with the wrong kind of women.... You destroyed my son, you destroyed my family. I don't feel sorry for you one bit. If it was up to me, you'd get life. I mean that from the bottom of my heart."
At Azalea Middle, Martin taught five computer classes and one "life choices" course, which involved teaching students about positive relationships, self-esteem building and conflict resolution. The boy was not a student of her's this year. Martin has been placed on administrative leave.
As a condition of her probation, Martin can no longer work anywhere with children, including daycare centers, malls, theme parks and schools. Martin said she was working toward a master's degree.
She asked Judge Cynthia Newton if she could have permission to transport her two children to school. As a single mother, Martin said she had no one else to take them.
"I'm going to allow you to take the kids to school and pick them up from school," Newton said.
But she could do nothing else on school property.
The Clearwater-based Blake & Dorsten, P.A. handles Juvenile Crimes throughout the Tampa Bay area. If you or a loved on has been accused of a Juvenile Crime or any type of Internet or Sex Crime, the Blake & Dorsten, P.A. is on your side.
As you can see from this story, Child Sex Offenses are prosecuted very aggressively in the State of Florida. For most of these offenses, registration as a "Sexual Offender" and/or "Sexual Predator" is a very real consequence.
Former State of Florida Prosecutor Nicholas J. Dorsten, Esq., of the Clearwater-based Blake & Dorsten, P.A., has successfully defended several Child Sex Offenses and has been able (in some cases) to negotiate around the mandatory "Sex Offender" registration requirements.
To speak directly with criminal defense attorney Nicholas J. Dorsten, Esq., please call the Blake & Dorsten, P.A. at 727.286.6141.
If your case requires an experienced and aggressive criminal representation, the Blake & Dorsten, P.A. will be there for you.
Nicholas J. Dorsten, Esq.
Blake & Dorsten, P.A., LLC