After facing 16 years in prison for perfectly legal, consensual sex, Lauren Redfern gets “only” a ruined career, probation, and sex offender treatment

laura-redfern26-year old Lauren Redfern was originally charged with two felony counts of sexual “assault” on a “child,” although these terms had been redefined by her prosecutors to include Redfern’s consensual sex with her 18-year-old boyfriend.

Prosecutors from the Eagle County, Colorado, District Attorney’s Office also redefined their consensual relationship as “a pattern of sexual abuse.”

It’s always better that way, when you have no case. And the press is likely to just eat it up and say nothing, even if it means the ruin of a beloved local coach.

In an astonishing stroke of good fortune, by US standards, Redfern was sentenced on Tuesday but faces no prison time and will likely be released from jail later this week.

Redfern was arrested after the school’s athletic director caught her having sex with her student-boyfriend in the teacher’s restroom, explains the Huffington Post, at “Lauren Redfern, High School Teacher Sentenced To Sex Offender Treatment, But No Prison Time” (08/17/2012).

And, like everyone arrested for crimes that are not crimes, but on which the prosecution refuses to budge, Redfern was forced to take a plea “deal”:

Redfern pleaded guilty to a lesser felony charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor [sic] and the Eagle County District Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss the sexual assault on a child [sic] charges. According to that deal, Redfern wouldn’t even have been added to the sex offender registry.

If she had been convicted on the original charges, Redfern could have spent up to 16 years in prison.

When exactly the two began their sexual relationship was a crucial point in this case because in Colorado a 17-year-old can have sexual relations with an adult, but not with a teacher, since teachers hold a position of trust. Therefore when the the two were caught together in the teacher’s bathroom, no unlawful sex act had been committed because the student was 18 — although it did violate school policies….

Eagle County Court Judge Katherine Sullivan even lowered Redfern’s bond to $5,000 saying she didn’t believe Redfern was a flight risk since Redfern grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley. The condition was that she wouldn’t consume alcohol or leave the state without written permission from the court.

But on Tuesday Redfern was ultimately sentenced to 180 days in jail, 150 days of which would be suspended pending other requirements, plus she will be credited with time already served. Redfern was ordered to avoid drugs and alcohol, and complete four years supervised probation and treatment for sex offenders.

Yeah, because that’s how much the Office of Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert cares about dealing with actual sex offenses, and actual sex offenders, and actual victims. Just send non-offenders to “treatment” and then do stump speeches about being tough on crime and sympathetic to victims.