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Former teachers face jail time

Northcutts plead no contest in sexual seduction case

Former teachers face jail time

Justin Northcutt


POSTED October 2, 2009 10:57 p.m.
The married couple and former teachers at Turlock Christian School pleaded no contest to felony charges of seducing a minor.
Amy Northcutt, 27, and her husband, Justin Northcutt, 28, both entered no contest pleas on Friday in Stanislaus County Superior Court to the felony charges of harmful matter sent with intent of seduction of a minor.
According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, the Northcutts sent sexually explicit pictures and text to a 16-year-old girl via cell phone, in an attempt to arrange a sexual encounter with the teen. The sheriff’s department does not believe any physical acts ever occurred.
Under the plea deal, Amy Northcutt will serve 60 days and Justin Northcutt will serve 90 days, said Deputy District Attorney Elaine Casillas, who prosecuted the case. Both will have to register as sex offenders, attend sex offender counseling, and stay away from the victim. They each also got three years of felony probation.
Justin Northcutt received a longer sentence because Casillas said a review of the text messages showed his involvement to be more detailed and because he was the one to ask for the victim’s cell phone number.
Sentencing was held over until Oct. 27 because the victim and her family want to make impact statements and were not prepared to do so at Friday’s hearing, Casillas said.
Casillas said the victim was ready to testify against the Northcutts, but was relieved the case reached a resolution that didn’t involve a trial.
Amy Northcutt was a history teacher at Turlock Christian High School. She had resigned from her position in June 2008, a month prior to her and her husband’s arrest in July 2008. Justin Northcutt was a substitute teacher at Turlock Christian’s junior and high schools.
The suspected relationship between the teachers and the 16-year-old girl, who was a student of Amy Northcutt, first came to light when a relative of the victim’s noticed her talking to Justin Northcutt outside of a home in Denair. The interaction raised some concerns that were passed on to the victim’s mother, who contacted the sheriff’s department.
If the Northcutts comply to all the terms of their probation for three years, the couple can file a motion with the court to have the charges reduced to misdemeanors.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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