A 26-year-old gym teacher at an elite girls school in southwest England faces a prison term after admitting in court this week that she had sex with a 15-year-old student at the school in an illicit affair that carried on for a full year.
Emily Fox remained silent during her appearance in St, Albans Crown Court, other than to enter a guilty plea to four counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child while in a position of trust. Fox is reported to be living in the town of Bath with a family member as she awaits her next court appearance, scheduled for September 5.
At that time, a judge warned her, she will likely be sentenced to prison time. She is already required to register as a sex offender in England as a result of the case. Though Judge Michael baker released Fox on bail, he banned her from having any contact with children under the age of 16 and she may not return to the school where she had been employed as a physical education teacher.
Fox could spend up to seven years in jail as a result of having sex with the female student. The sexual encounters happened in the 12-month period between August 2012 and August 2013.
While previously none of the parties involved in the case were allowed to be named in public, Judge Baker lifted a ban on releasing Fox’s name as well as the name of the school — while keeping the name of the still underage girl in the case confidential.
“It is clearly in the public interest to identify the school as well as the defendant. It is, to my knowledge, by no means a small school,” Baker said. “I don’t see how the identification of the school leads to the identification of the child.”
The school where Fox taught and which the 15-year-old girl attended was the elite Royal Masonic School for Girls, founded in 1788 for the daughters of men in the Freemason fraternal society. The school now charges tuition of £15,000 — about $25,500 — per year.
The school’s classic buildings have been featured in several motion pictures, including Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Orson Welles And Me.
Though the Emily Fox case occurred in England, it is just the latest in a long series of recent cases involving teachers having sex with students. For example, one Texas high school has seen five teacher-student sex scandals just in the past year. And in South Carolina this May, a married mother of three who taught at a high school there was arrested and accused of having sex with three male students in one frenzied evening at a house party.