Marie Johnson, 42, has taught math in the Livermore area for more than 13 years. But after pleading no contest to 9 felony charges of molestation relating to her extended connection with a 14-year-old male student, she will spend a good bit of her time in prison and most likely never teach again. For four months spanning from December 2010 to May 2001, Johnson and the young boy carried on a sexual relationship. It began with seemingly harmless messaging through social media like Facebook and Words With Friends, along with text messaging. The two had sex a number of times in several places around Livermore – and even in Johnson’s car at least once. When the boy decided to tell one of his high school coaches, he was recounted the story of a longstanding sexual relationship with his former math teacher; Johnson was arrested nearly immediately.
As it stands, Johnson is currently facing approximately 10 years behind bars for her actions (CA Penal Code §11164-11174.3) as per her plea. However, this brings up an excellent legal point. In this particular case, the victim came forward almost immediately, thus raising no problematic questions. Since 2003, the former 10-year statute of limitations placed on child molestation cases was lifted – leaving no limitations whatsoever. Although many people believe that this has been a good change, this lack of time limit for prosecution causes previously unforeseen consequences – like that of affecting child custody cases in which no molestation occurred, but wherein parents attempt to use the justice system as a pawn in their own disputes.