LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A former Oldham County teacher accused of having sex with a student last year is now challenging the state law.
Greg Simms, who represents Haley Reed, says they filed the motion 10 days ago.
This comes after she was charged with multiple accounts of rape, sodomy and unlawful exchange with a minor.
Reed and her attorney are now asking for those charges to be dropped because he says the state law is unconstitutional. He explains the there is a gray area in the law.
“What we want is conformity, uniformity of the law and we want the judge that’s handling this case, obviously, to strike that portion of the law and declare it to be unconstitutional – because it is,” Greg Simms, a partner at Murphy and Associates, said.
According to police, Reed admitted to engaging in sex acts with a student about 8 times between April 1 and June 1 in 2018.
Simms explains under Kentucky state law, someone who is over the age of 16 and under the age of 18 can consent to sexual contact. But another law says it’s felonious to engage in any sort of sexual act.
The 38-year-old was sexually involved with a student about eight times from April 1st to June 1st of 2018, and at the time the law stated five reasons when someone is deemed incapable of providing consent. Simms tells us according to those reasons alone, the student Reed was with was able to provide his consent.
But confusion is found in another statute...which says you are guilty of rape in the third degree if you are a person in a position of authority or special trust who has sex with someone under 18.
"And being with a person in position of trust or authority is not on that list. That does not mean you can't consent. There's the big hole that we're trying to fix," Simms says.
He says because of the nature of their ages and how the relationship pans out, it exposes holes in the law. If the same student was involved with another teacher at a different school, all of that would be legal contact. In addition, if the student is with their actual teacher when they turn 18 a few months later, that would also be perfectly legal. He went on to explain even if that student or a younger student than a 17-year-old married a teacher, which can happen in Kentucky, it would also be legal.
The line gets even more thin because just about a month after Reed and the student were involved, the laws relating to capacity to consent and rape third in Kentucky changed.
"And what was added is a provision that says well if someone is over the age of 16 but not yet 18 than there is a ten year rule," Simms explains.
The future for Haley Reed is unclear. If the judge rules in favor of their motion, all of her charges could get dropped. If the judge doesn't she currently faces more than 100 years behind bars, which Simm's says would most likely get dropped down to 20, which is still a significant amount of time.
"You can kill someone in Kentucky and get substantially less time than what we are talking about," Simms said.