St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message
 

Ex-teacher in Escambia convicted in teen sex case

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published July 23, 2006


PENSACOLA- A former Escambia County teacher was convicted of having sex with an underage student at a private school where she taught before working at the public Escambia High School.

Janelle Marie Bird, 25, was found guilty Friday of two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and two lesser counts of unnatural and lascivious act.

She was charged in December for having a two-year affair with a student from East Hill Christian School. The boy was 15 when the affair began.

Bird admitted the affair and testified Thursday that she loved the teen.

The teen testified that he had loved Bird. But when asked by defense attorney Jerry Allred if he still loved her, the 16-year-old responded with, "Uh ... nah."

Allred said he was disappointed for Bird, who will have to register as a sex offender.

But he said he was not surprised at the verdict.

"There was no legal defense," Allred said Friday after the verdict was read.

Bird, who faces up to 30 years in prison, is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 4.

She is free on bond and plans to return to her hometown in Virginia, Minn.

Bird left East Hill Christian School in June 2005 for a job with the Escambia County School District.

She was teaching reading to freshmen and sophomores at Escambia High School when the allegations surfaced.

The Escambia County School Board voted Nov. 22 to fire Bird without cause before her probationary status expired.

[Last modified July 23, 2006, 07:23:28]


Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT