CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A teacher at Conway High School pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor in an Horry County courtroom Monday.
Courtney Ruth Martin, 26, of Aynor, turned herself in to police on November 5 and was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to a news release from the Conway Police Department. An investigation determined that while employed as a teacher at Conway High School, Martin engaged in the inappropriate behavior with one of her students between August 23, 2012 and October 29, 2013.
Martin has been sentenced to three years suspended to two years probation, will not be on the sex offender registry and ordered to have no contact with the victim.
For many students, it isn't the age difference bothering them about the allegations against the teacher; they're worried about the abuse of power as an educator
"She's a grown woman and he's a student," said student Mason Fletcher. "That's not something she should be doing. She's taking advantage of him, and he's just young and naïve and doesn't realize it."
According to the police report, the school received an anonymous complaint alleging Martin was in an improper relationship with the student, and that they planned to have sex. The caller alleged that Martin had sent photos of her body parts.
"I could never imagine getting a picture like that from a male or even female teacher," said student Katie Lee. "They should both know better, even though he is underage"
Police interviewed Martin and the student, who both denied any involvement with each other. The student later admitted they were in a relationship, advising that he would go to her classroom during lunch or after school and they would hug, kiss and talk.
Martin was issued a contract in July 2010 and has taught English at Conway High School since then, according to district spokeswoman Teal Britton.