As a teacher in Louisiana, you need to understand what is viewed as sexual conduct between an educator and student. Clearly, not all touching is sexual, and you shouldn’t be held accountable for a child’s imagination. Knowing what you are and aren’t allowed to do can help you better define your case and protect yourself.
According to Louisiana law, you can be accused of a sex crime with a student even if the student is over 17 but is less than 21, if you are four years older or younger, if you aren’t the spouse of the student or if the person is a student at the school where you’re employed. Interestingly, this leaves a loophole where if you are working at a separate school and are dating someone over 18 who is a student at another school, you may not be accused of a crime.
Teachers are also not allowed to engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 21 if the person is a student at their school. If the person is over 17 and within a four-year age range of the teacher in question, this still applies unless the person is a student at another school.
These laws can be complicated and lead to many accusations for events that may be perfectly legal. If you’re being charged with sex offenses, you need to know the laws in your area and be aware that you have the right to defend yourself from the start. You don’t have to answer for crimes you haven’t committed.
Source: Louisiana State Legislature, “RS 14:81.4” Dec. 15, 2014