Former music teacher Therese Gunn confessed during a court hearing Friday to having a sexual relationship with one of her students. However, contrary to earlier remarks she made about the incident, the ex-orchestra teacher claimed that her former student coerced her into the relationship.
Police initially charged Gunn, 54, with several counts of engaging in sexual activity of a minor, and she was sentenced to 10 years of probation. Gunn, who worked at South Gwinnett High School in Georgia for 25 years, originally expressed remorse over the relationship in 2016. However, after she confessed, her story changed.
The former teacher now maintains that the 17-year-old victim tricked her into a sexual relationship, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Gunn told Judge Warren Davis that student with whom she began a sexual relationship "was like a used car salesman."
Disclosing details of the encounter in court Friday, the victim said Gunn "made [his] adolescence hell."
Gunn pled guilty to one count of sexual assault by a person with supervisory authority, and she was sentenced to 90 days in prison. She will be on probation for the remainder of her 10-year sentence.
"I don’t find that you're the kind of person that needs to be warehoused for years," Judge Davis said. "We get those cases and we get them out of society as long as we can. You're not one of those. But you clearly betrayed the trust that you had of parents, this parent, putting this child in your care."
Officials arrested Gunn in May of 2016. During that time, police said she had a relationship with a male student, which lasted for several months. The student’s parents discovered a journal that detailed his relationship with the teacher and notified school officials. The victim's parents informed school officials, who later notified the police.
A 2016 press release disclosed that Gunn held parties at her house. Gwinnett County police said they had "discovered that the teacher hosted a party at her home in Grayson." The victim, as well as other students, attended the house parties.
"During the party, the teacher allowed the 17-year-old and two other female students to smoke marijuana under her direct supervision," police said. "According to the detective, the teacher smoked marijuana as well."
Georgia law prohibited sexual contact between an authority such as a police officer or a teacher and an individual under their care. Gunn was the fourth teacher arrested for sex-related charges during the 2015-2016 semester.
Police reportedly arrested three more Gwinnett County Public Schools teachers on similar sexual related charges since 2016, including Mikey Henderson, a former University of Georgia football player.
Police also arrested another teacher who worked at Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn earlier this year. Police charged Derren Justin Evans, a former substitute teacher at Providence Christian Academy, with sexual assault after a student alerted officials that he touched her and asked for naked photos via Snapchat.
Head of School Sean Chapman said in an interview May 18 that Evans was fired and prohibited from school grounds after the student reported the alleged assault.
"This matters to us. We take the safety of our students, faculty and staff very seriously," Chapman said. "We responded immediately, removed him from class and we have been fully cooperative all the way through."