Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Lawyers: Webb City teacher had constitutional right to have sex with student
In Passanise's original motion, filed October 2, the attorney notes that the state says the sex between Njoroge and the student was consensual. The state statute prohibiting a teacher from having sex with a student is "unconstitutional," he said, "because it is overbroad. It prohibits conduct to which a person is constitutionally entitled along with conduct that a person has no right to engage in," referring to the student having reached the age of consent.
Passinise cited Lawrence v. Texas, noting "the U. S. Supreme Court held that consenting adults have a liberty right under the Due Process Clause to engage in private sexual conduct." That ruling, handed down in 2003 by a 5-4 margin, struck down sodomy laws in 13 states.
Passinise continues, "The 14th Amendment accords constitutional protection to personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation, family relationships, child rearing, and education."
Wampler filed a supplemental motion October 7 essentially restating the same points.
According to the probable cause affidavit from the Webb City Police Department, the acts that Wampler and Passinise say are protected by the U. S. Constitution took place over a three-month period and involved oral sex on multiple occasions and sexual intercourse on April 15, 2014, in Njoroge's office at Webb City High School.
R-7 officials placed Njoroge on paid administrative leave April 17, 2014, and she resigned the following day, according to a statement issued by the school district.
The motion to dismiss will be taken up during a 1 p.m. Friday, October 30, hearing before Judge David Mouton
Njoroge's trial was originally scheduled to take place this month, but the trial date was stricken and no decision has been made on a new date.