Cypress, TX – A 24-year-old former high school history teacher who admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old student has been sentenced to prison.
In May, Michelle Schiffer, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of improper relationship with a student, and faced up to 20 years in prison, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Harris County State District Judge Robert Johnson sentenced her to eight years in prison on Sep. 6.
“Michelle and her family are disappointed with the outcome thus far, but she accepts responsibility for what she has done,” her attorney, Grant Scheiner, told the Houston Chronicle. “Michelle is prepared to serve her sentence and hopes the complainant and his family can forgive her.”
According to court documents, Schiffer was working as a history teacher at Cypress Springs High School when she struck up a relationship with a 15-year-old boy, KHOU reported
In July of 2017, she met up with the teen at a Chick-Fil-A restaurant, then proceeded to smoke marijuana with him and have sex at a friend’s home.
On another occasion, she smoked pot with the boy and had sex with him in her car after picking him up from a park.
The teen allegedly bragged about the encounters to another student, who alerted school administrators.
According to court documents, Schiffer admitted to the allegations against her, and was placed on administrative leave by the school district, KTRK reported.
She was later fired, according to KHOU.
Prosecutors accused Schiffer of texting other students as well, and said she sent topless pictures of herself to some of the teens.
“This isn’t a heat-of-the-moment thing,” prosecutor Keaton Forcht told the court, according to the Houston Chronicle. “This is over a series of months with different students.”
It was unclear why Schiffer was not charged in connection with those accusations.
“I don’t think any mother should have to go through this,” the teen’s mother testified through tears. “You trust those people. You put your trust in those people.”
Schiffer’s family and friends testified that she was not taking her antidepressants when she repeatedly sexually assaulted the teen, the Houston Chronicle reported.
“She’s horrified about what she did to that poor young man,” her mother, Mary Schiffer, told the court. “I think she’s remorseful…She knows what she did was wrong. She made a series of bad choices to bring her to that place. Since then, she has really become consistent with [her therapy and medication].”
Schiffer is engaged to a U.S. Marine, and was planning to get married in November, Mary said.
“He is disappointed, of course, and upset by her actions, but he loves her and is standing by her,” she added.
Because Schiffer was not convicted of a sexual assault offense, she is not required to register as a sex offender, the Houston Chronicle reported.
“She has a scarlet letter that’s going to last the rest of her life,” Scheiner said. “And that is part of the punishment.”