Teacher Who Had Sex With 15-year-old Student Avoids Prison By Leaving Long-time Husband And MARRYING Victim
Teacher who had sex with 15-year-old student avoids prison by leaving long-time husband and MARRYING victimJohnnie Ray Ison, now 19, cannot be compelled to testify against 42-year-old wife
Leah Gayle Shipman wed teen only six days after divorcing husband of 19 years
By [/home/search.html?s=&authornamef=Mike+Jaccarino Mike Jaccarino]
Published: 16:45 BST, 20 January 2013 | Updated: 10:40 BST, 21 January 2013
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comments] Wily: Leah Gayle Shipman skirted a potential 15-year prison sentence by marrying the victim she formerly seduced
A former teacher facing a lengthy prison sentence for seducing a student has avoided jail by marrying her teenage lover.
Leah Gayle Shipman, 42, wed Johnnie Ray Ison, now 19, in January of 2011 - two years after her arrest for having sex with the then 15-year-old student at a Wilmington high school, The Wilmington Star-News reports.
As a result, officials cannot now compel Ison to render evidence against Shipman - and all statements he previously made to police concerning their affair are no longer admissible at trial.
Under North Carolina law, a defendant's spouse cannot be compelled to testify against the defendant in criminal cases or grand jury proceedings.
'None of the statements made in this case would be admissible without the victim,' Brunswick County Assistant District Attorney Gina Essey said.
'The defendant has a Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses against them.'
Shipman, of Wilmington, was reportedly married at the time of her trysts with Ison, and married the 19-year-old six days after divorcing her husband of 19 years.
At the time of the betrothal, Simpson was facing 15 years for statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a child, in connection with her previous sexual relationship with Ison.
Shipman, who taught at Brunswick County Academy in Wilmington, was not only arrested in 2009, but suspended and eventually fired from her post at the school.
Ison's mother had to reportedly give written permission for her then 17-year-old son, who was still a minor, to marry Shipman in 2011.
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Details of the wedding emerged only after Shipman pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor charge of resisting an officer that arose in connection with her arrest for the alleged abuse.
Moving on: Shipman once taught Ison at Brunswick County Academy High School (pictured) in Wilmington, North Carolina
More serious charges stemming from her sexual affair with the teen were dropped when officials were informed about the marriage, The Star-News reports.
The charge to which Shipman pleaded guilty reportedly stems from text messages and phone calls she made to the victim during his police interrogation at the investigation stage.
'The police witnessed the texts, and we were able to get them from the phone,' Essey said.
Shipman was sentenced on December 20 to a 30-day suspended jail sentence, a year of probation and $345 in restitution.
She was also ordered to surrender her teaching license.
On the same day, olympiamutualaid.org Ison pleaded guilty on unrelated charges to one felony count of breaking and entering and two counts of larceny. He received 24 months probation.
[ Teacher charged with having sex with student marries him, preventing his testimony]