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Couple sentenced on seduction charges
Justin Northcutt
Husband and wife defendants, Amy and Justin Northcutt, were sentenced Tuesday to two and three months in jail, respectively, as part of a plea deal they entered into on charges of trying to seduce a minor.
The couple, both former teachers at Turlock Christian each entered no contest pleas to the felony charge of harmful matter sent with the intent of seduction of a minor on Oct. 2 in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
According to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office, the Northcutts sent sexually explicit pictures and text to a 16-year-old girl via cellphone, in an attempt to arrange a sexual encounter with the teen. The district attorney’s office does not believe any physical acts ever occurred between the couple and the teen, a former student of Amy Northcutt.
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.
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 or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.