NEW BRIGHTON, Pa. – A Pennsylvania English teacher is in hot water after allegations surfaced she had sex with two students and provided them with beer.
Tiffany Leiseth, 26, has been charged with institutional sexual assault and furnishing alcohol to minors, the Daily Caller reports.
Leiseth, a married, long-term substitute teacher for the New Brighton Area School District in “rural western Pennsylvania,” also allegedly sent nude photographs of herself to both students while her husband was out of town, the news reports said.
Both male students involved with the allegations are over the age of 18, but were days away from high-school graduation. This last fact prompted her arrest, since Pennsylvania law does not recognize any right of sexual consent between teachers and students of any age.
“According to police, Leiseth invited one of the two male high school seniors over to her house in Moon Township, Pa. on the last day of school. She gave him a beer. They had sex,” wrote the Caller.
“The very next day, police say, the second student went to her home. There was more sex and some more beer,” the story continues. “Prior to all the excitement, Leiseth had – of course – sent the two students nude photos of herself.”
Pittsburgh NBC affiliate WPXI quoted Moon Township Police Chief Leo McCarthy: “Regardless of your age, whether you’re an adult or not, if you’re a high school student, a teacher cannot have sexual relations with you.” He added that Leiseth was arrested because a Pennsylvania law passed in 2007 was intended “to give people who are being supervised by others protection.”
According to the Caller, Leiseth’s attorney, Mike Deriso, is attempting to defend her against the charges because she wasn’t actively operating as a teacher to the two students: “‘She was not their teacher at the time, and they were not her students,’ Deriso told CBS Pittsburgh. ‘My client did not pursue those boys. They are adults. They make their own decisions.’”
The nude images sent by Leiseth will not be prosecuted due to the fact both students were 18.
Anonymous phone tips to Joseph A. Guarino, the school district superintendent, led him to call the police.
“They had a rumor that a school teacher was sending nude photographs of herself to two male students,’ McCarthy explained to CBS Pittsburgh. ‘They followed up on that rumor and they found those students, and they found the nude photographs, and they identified the teacher.’”
Leiseth has been fired as a result of the allegations against her.