A former Teacher of the Year in Florida is facing 38 years in prison after being convicted of carrying on an illicit relationship with one of her 12-year-old students.
Married mother Ethel Anderson, 30, from Riverside, had tears streaming down her face has she begged to judge for mercy while explaining that her only purpose in life is raising her daughter.
"I am ashamed and embarrassed to be standing in this courtroom and I keep telling myself this is not my life," Anderson told the court. "I share all this with you judge, in the hope that there is something you see in me, that I'm worthy of mercy."
Anderson's victim, who was 12 years old at the time, said she was coerced into the relationship with his teacher and wanted to end the relationship because he was tired of lying to his mother.
"I felt like she was a girlfriend, I loved her and she said that I was her boyfriend and she loved me. She would rub on my legs, kiss on my ears, neck and stuff like that…We would tongue kiss… I didn't want to lose my virginity to a teacher," the boy testified.
Anderson stated that she was just trying to help the student, albeit in an inappropriate way, when she was asked to explain the 230 pages of explicit text messages she exchanged with the victim.
"At the time, with him struggling with school and having behavioral issues and anger issues, acting out at home and not being able to connect with his family, the way that he and his parents felt, that was my purpose. To gain his attention and, yes, I did it in an inappropriate way," Anderson told the court.
Ultimately the judge described Anderson as a parent's worst nightmare and said that such vile actions deserve to be severely punished.