Ms. Lewis, a theater teacher and student council advisor at Cleveland High School, was arrested earlier this week on charges of prostitution. She got caught as part of a greater police operation that was infiltrating escort chat rooms. She agreed to meet an undercover officer at the Four Seasons for $300 with the agreement that she would participate in "sexual conduct." According to Texas penal code, a person is guilty of prostitution if she knowingly "offers to engage, agrees to engage, or engages in sexual conduct for a fee." Ms. Lewis faces a $2000 fine and six months in jail, as well as the likely need to find a new legitimate career, if she is found guilty.
We have all read the stories about how our public school teachers are deserving of higher pay. From the halls of Congress to the smallest of city councils, elected officials have struggled with how to provide fitting salaries for those who impart wisdom on our children. Growing up, I had teachers who held second jobs as sales clerks, tutors, and even bartenders just to pay the bills. I must admit, however, that I never (at least knowingly) had a teacher who earned additional income through the same means as Laurie Lewis.
Understandably, Laurie Lewis' students and their parents are a bit shocked by the news. As parent Susan Swearingen said, "They [the students] are already influenced by some of the younger teachers, and to have something like that ... that's not right." To any students who may be reading this blog, let me offer you some free legal advice. Do not allow yourself to be influenced by your teacher in this instance! Good things will not happen.
At Bertolino LLP, we believe that every person who has been accused of a crime deserves an aggressive and experienced defense attorney working on his or her behalf. If you are a teacher who has been working from a more mature lesson plan after dark, or if you are facing any other criminal charges, please contact our offices in Austin, Houston, or San Antonio and let's see how we can help.