Washington teacher avoids jail after sex with student

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A former married high school teacher convicted of having sex with an underage student won’t face any jail time despite her victim’s mother claiming the educator’s “predatory actions” stripped the student of his dreams.

McKenna Kindred, 25, who taught at Central Valley High School in Spokane Valley, Washington, pleaded guilty Thursday to amended charges of second-degree sexual misconduct with a minor and communication with a minor for immoral purposes, the New York Post reported.

The teacher’s inappropriate relationship with the 17-year-old student began in June 2022, when the minor discovered Kindred’s Instagram account and the two began messaging each other, according to the Spokeman-Review.

Sometime in November of that year, Kindred and the student had sex inside her home while Kindred’s husband was on a hunting trip.

The teen’s friends shared screenshots of the messages with school officials in December 2022.

Both Kindred and the teen at the time had denied any sexual relationship as rumours began to spread around the school, including the teacher being harassed by someone on social media, the outlet reported.

An investigation was launched into Kindred’s behaviour, leading detectives to speak with the teen, who admitted to messaging the teacher and even exchanging inappropriate videos with each other.

The teen admitted to contacting Kindred over Instagram and having sex with the teacher at her home.

The investigation found Kindred sent several sexually alluding messages to the teen, KHQ previously reported.

The messages included: “I wanted you to be in my room.”

“When other girls talk about you in my class I could feel myself getting mad.”

“I really like being touched by you.”

Detectives seized the teen’s phone and found selfie-styled photos of both Kindred and the student but did not find “any photos that appeared overtly sexual in nature,” according to the outlet.

The school district placed Kindred on administrative leave in December 2022, before she resigned in 2023.

The victim’s mother claimed Kindred began to groom her son when he was 16, and her actions were an “abuse of power”.

“I barely slept for several weeks in fear of the physical retaliation (my son) might be victim to as McKenna involved him in her adult marital affairs,” Ashley Beckley said during her impact statement to the court, according to KHQ.

Ms Beckley also claimed Kindred’s actions made her son unable to finish school on campus, affecting his social, emotional and academic wellbeing.

“A light he used to carry has been dimmed,” she said.

Kindred apologised to the teen and his family, acknowledging the pain she caused.

“I know this past year has been incredibly difficult for all involved. As a result of my actions, I’ve lost my career, valuable friendships, freedoms and have let down countless people who placed their trust in me,” she said to the court in a prepared statement.

“My mental health has also significantly been affected by this event. I am deeply ashamed of the pain I have caused.”

Kindred, who has been free on bond since her arrest in 2022, was sentenced to two years of probation, handed $US700 ($A1073) in fines and fees and ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Since her arrest, Kindred voluntarily began seeing a counsellor for her mental health, according to the Spokesman-Review.

Kindred’s counsellor said the teacher’s mental health, depression, anxiety and marital issues weren’t an excuse for her crimes but had contributed to them.

“She’s suffered severe collateral consequences,” he added.

This story originally appeared on the New York Post and reproduced with permission