London, Feb 18 (ANI): A 39-year-old elementary school teacher has been sentenced for 40 years for having an affair with a teenage boy.
Shannon Alicia Schmieder was 38 when she was arrested for the affair, which was revealed when the victim's parents discovered explicit messages on his computer.
She was told she will have to serve 20 years - by far the toughest sentence ever handed out by a US court to an educator accused of underage sex.
Legal experts said the jail term was the same for manslaughter and other serious crimes.
The 39-year-old knew the boy since he was born and was at one stage like a mother figure to him, according to his family.
"She was a close family friend. We had gone to the same church together for 10 years. Our children were friends. Our families were friends. We did everything together. It's impossible to describe how we felt to find out this was going on," the Daily Mail quoted the boy's mother as saying.
The victim's parents noticed a change in the relationship between their then 13-year-old son and Schmieder, saying she was acting more like a friend than a parental figure.
It was when they opened the boy's Facebook page they realized something was wrong.
"Never in a million years did I think I would find what I thought was evidence of inappropriate behaviour between them. But there it was," the mother said.
Schmieder, a teacher's assistant at Jefferson Parkway Elementary School in Coweta County, Georgia, pleaded guilty to two charges of child molestation following her arrest last April.
The parents of her victim, who was not a pupil at her school, had alerted the police, and a forensic examination of the boy's home computer revealed Schmieder was involved in a sexual relationship.
She was arrested and charged following an interview with detectives. (ANI)
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