A middle school teacher who had multiple sexual encounters with a 16-year-old student she was tutoring has been released from jail without probation.
Kathryn Camille Murray, 31, had been in jail since January 2013. She pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child and improper relationship with a student in Harris County, Texas on Wednesday and the judge decided to release her from prison after giving her credit for time served.
The family of the boy who was sexually involved with Murray feel the punishment did not fit the crime.
“We are very disappointed with the sentence and never agreed with the sentence,” Jenny Pallais, the boy’s mother, told KHOU. “We are still working hard to put our family back together.”
The Pallaises adopted Jimmy from Costa Rica and brought him to the United States when he was 14. The boy barely spoke English so the parents hired a tutor to help teach him the language.
Murray, who was 28 at the time, started tutoring Jimmy at Memorial Middle school and the parents noticed that the boy had developed a crush on the teacher.
“Every kid goes through that, has a crush on a teacher,” Alex, the boy’s father, told ABC 20/20. “This is an adolescent son with just a simple crush. That’s it. We thought nothing of it.”
The boy wrote Murray a note expressing how he felt about her. He ripped it up and told her to throw the pieces in the garbage. Murray reportedly kept the pieces and put them back together.
“She said, ‘I read your letter,’” Jimmy told ABC. “She told me, ‘I really like you, like, for real.’ I said, ‘I really like you.’ And she… told me, ‘I know, but we can’t have anything.’”
The parents told the school principal that they were concerned with the relationship between Murray and their son and asked to switch classes. Murray and Jimmy however, continued speaking on Facebook.
According to reports, they had sex in Murray’s classroom at least twice. they also had sex at his home and at a hotel room after Jimmy’s father dropped him off for a school dance.
One day, Jimmy’s little brother walked in on him and Murray in bed together. The little brother, who was 12-years-old at the time, told their mother about what he saw. She informed the police and gathered the bed sheets.
“DNA from those sheets proved that she was there,” Alex told ABC.
The two continued their relationship after Murray was released on $50,000 bail. Jimmy would sneak out at night to meet up with Murray. The parents hired a private investigator who followed Jimmy to Murray’s father’s home. Police arrived and Murray was arrested again in January 2013.
The boy told ABC that he became depressed and considered suicide when Murray was arrested for the second time.
His parents say that Murray “took his innocence away” and “robbed him of his childhood.”
Murray, who is married, will now have to register as a sex offender for life. Her attorney, Robert Ross, said that she is ready to move on.
“I’m just glad it’s behind us, so is she, so is her family,” Ross said. “She’ll start a new with a good life.”