'I'm Not A Monster, I'm Not A Predator.'' | Crime In The Classroom: The Jennifer Caswell Story

(Jennifer Caswell on the Dr Phil Show. Picture credit: people)

*Please be aware that some of the details that I will be sharing in this post with be quite disturbing. I will be talking about themes surrounding inappropriate relationships with elder people of authority and underage victims*

So this post is something a little bit different to some of the cases that I would usually share but I thought it was an interesting scandal to write about. I've covered the usual cases of the older woman seducing the younger man and setting up a situation where the youngster kills the woman's husband for whatever reason. I've talked previously about The Jimmie Sue Finger Story and the shocking Pamela Smart case where both husbands were murdered by the older woman's young victim/love interest. In this case that I will be sharing here, nobody died....well it never got to that point, nobody knows what the outcome would have been if it had carried on. But the story of Middle School teacher, Jennifer Caswell (better known to her students as Mrs Sexton) nonetheless shocked America and beyond. 

The case was brought to everyone's (outside of the small town in which it took place in Oklahoma, USA) attention through the Dr Phil Show. This attractive woman was being interviewed by Dr Phil and I wasn't paying much attention at the time but when I saw the subject matter I was cringing. The episode was based around teachers who had inappropriate relationships with their students and Jennifer Caswell (who was 27 at the time the offences were committed) was caught having sex with a 15 year old child, a schoolboy. She decided to give an interview to the Dr Phil show to tell her side of the story.

You'll get some guys who will joke ''Oh teachers didn't look like that in my day'' and ''I wouldn't have complained'' but let's be serious here for a moment. You have a 27 year old unhappily married woman who is also the mother of a young child, who just happens to be a teacher, a trusted position and one in which all children should be safe in the presence of. She got involved with a teenage boy, a child who wasn't even a fully grown adult and his brain was not fully developed enough to make adult decisions or able to handle a grown woman with so much psychological baggage, it was all hormones going on. 

Adult relationships with underage children can be damaging and you don't need me to tell you that, it's an obvious fact. Jennifer had been with her husband for 10 years and according to her, there was no affection in the relationship. Her husband didn't buy her gifts or give her compliments, he'd come home from work and spend all night talking to friends on the phone and playing his video games. She claimed that he never told her she was pretty. They both existed under the same roof due to financial reasons. So you have a woman who is trapped in an unhappy marriage and one of her male students takes a shine to her. 

Jennifer was a beautiful woman and I'm sure we've all had attractive teachers who we might have had a crush on but nothing inappropriate happened. I did have a male teacher who made inappropriate comments to me and gave me 'special attention' in class, I didn't think anything of it at the time until he recorded a 'music video' of all of us and told us that he ''lost the tape''. To cut a long story short, he got removed from the school. But, the fact is, she had issues with self esteem and claimed that the young boy had been flirty with her, telling her she was pretty etc. Instead of behaving in the manner that she should have, she encouraged this behaviour because it made her feel good, it gave her a confidence boost. 

(Jennifer Caswell. Picture credit: huffingtonpost)

The flirting between the pair was getting even more out of hand when the boy was spotted hanging around her classroom after school hours and somebody reported to the principle that they'd seen the boy grab Jennifer's bottom in the hallway. 

In the Dr Phil interview (which I went back to watch again as part of my research), I noticed (and Dr Phil himself later pointed out) that there was a lot of contradictions going on. She claimed to have had sex with the boy (I feel so uncomfortable writing that) only once in the classroom. She said she had been finishing off some work and straightening up the desks when he came up behind her and kissed her. She said that she tried to resist him but finally gave in and the pair had sexual relations right there and then. Rumours around the school were rife and authorities got involved. The school did an investigation into this alleged inappropriate relationship but found no evidence. The boy covered up for Jennifer and told anyone who questioned the situation with ''She's just a good teacher'' and that nothing was going on. 

It was clear that everyone was still highly suspicious even though they couldn't find anything to pin on Jennifer, she knew she was being watched so she handed in her resignation. This was a role that she had been working for, for years and had only recently been classed as a fully qualified teacher but she was ready to throw it all away to continue (what she saw as a relationship) seeing this young boy. 

It was all a bit sickening that she planned to keep on having this inappropriate relationship with this boy to the point of obsession. He made her feel like a teenager again and she wanted to keep that going and if that meant losing the teaching position and the husband, then so be it. The madness continued with her thinking that she was going to marry this boy and have a child with him.

So earlier I said that she claimed to have slept with the boy once but she later contradicted herself because according to evidence, she had sexual relations with the boy over several occasions in her car, her house, his house, hotels and elsewhere. She pursued him even to the point of travelling 650 miles to secretly meet him for sex at a hotel when he was on a family holiday. 

At the time that she met him in the parking lot where he sneaked out away from his parents to meet her, she claimed that the pair had been texting morning, noon and night for weeks and missed each other. She said her ex-husband (who she was now apart from) was hacking into her Facebook and phone messages and kept making reports to the police about her actions towards the boy. It was common knowledge in the town but before this, she claimed that after she had resigned, she was invited to the boy's family home because they felt sorry for her losing her job. She said that she didn't believe that the boy's father thought they were actively having 'a relationship' (or the guy was very naive, no offence) but she would go over and sit with the boy and his father and they'd watch movies and talk. She would go upstairs with the boy and apparently had sex with him whilst the father was downstairs. The boy's father was a respected pastor and this sort of situation was not exactly the sort of thing you want the community to know about if you are all about appearance and having a clean-cut image. It's hard to know what really was the story there but she says that the father knew that his son had been reported hanging around her classroom and she lost her job. She wasn't aware exactly how much the boy's father knew.

Before all of this, the boy had been a promising popular athlete and well liked in his community as well as being from a well respected family. She claimed that he made the first move on her and that he knew what he was doing and what to say. She also claimed that he bragged that the pair had oral sex in the classroom to his friends and word got around the school. He later admitted that this was a lie. 

So how did it all come to an end? well, as I mentioned, she drove 650 miles to meet him when he was on holiday with his parents. He sneaked out to meet her and they drove to her hotel. At some point during the evening there was a knock at the door and it was the police and all hell broke loose. Somebody tipped off the cops and she believed it had been her ex-husband because he apparently kept calling the police every time he saw her car parked at the boy's house. The ex-husband was also trying to keep full custody of their son who he believed to be in danger. 

She was arrested at the hotel and the full story came to light. At first the young boy protected her but after months of police questioning, he finally gave in and told the truth. Messages, emails, phone bills and witness statements had all shown that they had been having an inappropriate relationship. She was kept in custody and the boy had to face the community who he claimed had ridiculed him. He claimed that the whole thing had left him feeling depressed and ashamed. The family ended up moving to another town and the boy was enrolled in another school because they couldn't stand any more looks and pointing from the town gossipers. 

Jennifer tried her best to plead her case and make out that she was an innocent victim and that the boy knew what he was doing. She attempted to illicit sympathy by talking about her loveless marriage and blamed the ex-husband for not giving her enough attention. She also said that if there was a chance to have carried on the relationship with the boy, she would have done and that she would have no problems starting up a relationship with him again if he contacted her in the future. She doesn't believe that the boy suffered in any way and claims that he tried to contact her twice on Facebook to which she ignored and blocked him. 

When it was all said and done, Jennifer Caswell was sentenced (in a plead deal in 2015) to 10 years in prison (with 5 years suspended) she was also placed on the sex offenders register for life. 

The boy and his father tried to sue Jennifer for $1 million dollars and the school. Jennifer's lawyer said that she was now stripped of her credentials as a teacher and was now serving her sentence in prison with no means to pay. The school did settle with the family for $125,000 in a another lawsuit. 

Jennifer Caswell tried time and again to excuse her abuse of her position by blaming her failed marriage, the boy and by claiming that lots of people in her town had 'age-gap relationships'. She said the only reason her situation with this boy was made public and made into a big deal is because her ex-husband had pressed the issue. According to her, if the ex-husband had left things then it wouldn't be a big deal. There was no remorse or acceptance of blame and a real air of immaturity about her which is pretty scary when you think that this woman was once trusted to be in charge of a room full of children. 

(Jennifer Caswell. Picture credit: nypost)

What are your thoughts on this case? Let me know in the comments below, on my socials or by email at jocaledoniankitty@gmail.com 

Further Reading & Sources:

Jennifer Caswell: Article | The Oklahoman

Jennifer Caswell: Article | Daily Mail

Jennifer Caswell: Article | New York Post

Jennifer Caswell; Article | The Independent

Jennifer Caswell: Article | CBS News

Jennifer Caswell: Article | Courthouse News

Jennifer Caswell | Full Interview on Dr Phil 

Oklahoma | Wikipedia

Jennifer Caswell: Article | Inside Edition

If you enjoy my content and would like to buy me a coffee, that would be amazing, you can find the link to my ko-fi page here or if you prefer you can donate via my PayPal. Many thanks!

See you in the next post x

No comments:

Post a Comment