RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – In Virginia, there is no law on the books that says an adult student and a teacher are committing a crime if they have sex.
State Delegate Manoli Loupassi (R - RICHMOND) wants to explore the possibility of creating such a law.
“It`s something I want to study and look at,” he said.
Loupassi is introducing a bill that would potentially make it a crime for a teacher and a student over the age of 18 to have sex.
In House Bill 595, Loupassi wants the Virginia State Crime Commission (VSCC) to study available criminal penalties. Loupassi is a member of the VSCC.
“We got people in the state crime commission that are prosecutors, we have former judges, we got people in the attorney general’s office, so we have a lot of smart people there,” he said.
Loupassi came up with the bill after 24-year-old Anna Michelle Walters, a substitute teacher at Cosby High School, was convicted of having sex with an underage student.
His bill has the potential of making it a crime had the student been 18 years old or older.
“You`re teaching all these kids and then you`re grading their tests, and you`re having sex with the people," Loupassi said. “Are you kidding me -- that`s really bad.”
But CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone disagrees.
“We can all agree that it is inappropriate, but the question is should it be criminal for the state to say you're committing a criminal offense when one adult has a sexual relationship with another adult, even if it is in a school setting.”
Stone said an affair between an adult student and a teacher should not be criminalized, but rather punishable if it’s coercive.
“Teachers have obligations and they could lose their jobs and lose their licenses,” Stone said.
“I think studying it, looking at it, and drawing conclusions based upon the information you gather, that makes sense to me,” Loupassi said.
If Loupassi’s bill passes subcommittee and full committee, and passes the House of Delegates and the Senate, the governor could sign it into law.