Despite being a religious studies teacher at the Bexleyheath Academy in south-East London, UK, 44-year-old Stuart Kerner’s position of authority didn’t deter him from taking one of his student’s virginity on a yoga mat inside a store cupboard at the school.
Kerner reportedly also had sex with the 16-year-old student in the guest room of his home while his wife was at work. As he allegedly brought condoms with him on both occasions, he can’t claim it was a “spur of the moment thing.”
Despite his actions, Judge Joanna Greenberg QC gave him an 18-month suspended sentence because she believes the victim “groomed” him and he “gave in to temptation.”
He was convicted by a jury last month on two counts of sexual activity with a child while holding a position of trust, but he was cleared of four other similar charges.
In appealing the verdict against him, Kerner’s solicitor, Gary Rubin, told reporters, “What I can tell you at this stage, is that not only is he planning to appeal, we actually lodged the appeal with the Court of Appeal well before Christmas. It was the advice given to his legal advisors that he should lodge an appeal against conviction. I lodged it within 14 days of his conviction.”
According to Kerner, the girl had stalked him and used details from calendars, computers, and gadgets in his office to construct “a fantasy” type sexual scenario. But the jury did not accept his claims, and convicted him last month.
As Judge Joanna Greenberg told Kerner on Wednesday, “There is no evidence that you groomed her… It was she who groomed you and you gave in to temptation.”
On the other side, the stepmother of the girl, who is now 19, told the Daily Mail, “He’s the one who’s committed the crime, and yet she’s the one who was treated like a criminal in that courtroom. What kind of a message does that send out? You can sleep with a schoolgirl and you’ll just get away with it? That’s disgusting. He was in the position of trust and he was the responsible adult. How could it be her fault? How can you blame a 16-year-old schoolgirl? We’re all still in shock.”
According to Kerner’s defense team, the girl invented a fantasy relationship based on the novel Fifty Shades of Grey, in which a more experienced man has an affair with a younger woman.