Former Utah high school teacher Brianne Altice was sentenced Thursday to up to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing three teenage students, to which she pled guilty in April, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
According to the Daily Mail, prosecutors said one of the boys was 16 and the other two were 17 when Altice, 36, had sex with them. Altice was originally out on bail during the trial, but the court discovered in January that she continued to have a sexual relationship with one of the boys, so she was sent to jail.
"I can tell you, unequivocally, that these boys are victims," one of the victims’ mothers said in court, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. "They will be affected by this unlawful relationship throughout their lives."
Altice’s defense maintained that she was a damaged person with low self-esteem and that she was having problems at home. The boys continued to flirt with her, and she eventually gave in because of her personal issues, the defense claimed, adding that she was not their teacher when she had sex with the students.
Initially, Altice's defense claimed that she did not have inappropriate relations with any of the students, but prosecutors said that the ex-teacher had confessed to them twice that she had sex with a 16-year-old. When questioned, the 16-year-old accurately described her house’s layout and her tattoos, the Daily Mail reports.
“I am human and I messed up during a very vulnerable time in my life,” Altice said in court.
Shortly after Altice was accused, Davis High School fired her and her husband filed for divorce and custody of their child.
"If I could, I would personally apologize to each individual that has been affected by this," she said. "Grief fills my heart for all involved."
Judge Thomas Kay sentenced Altice for three counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse. Two sentences will run concurrently, and the third will be consecutive, which means that she will spend between two and 30 years behind bars.
"I have to say to society, when a female or a male teacher does this to children, this is going to happen," Kay said about harsh sentences for teacher-student relations, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.