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Former Educator Sentenced for Sexual Abuse

Former Educator Sentenced for Sexual Abuse



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Sandra Yi Reporting A former educator will spend time in jail, for having sex with two male students. A judge also sentenced Leslie Baird to three years probation.

Baird had some words for the victims and their families. Leslie Baird told the judge she exploited the two teenage victims, and she takes the blame for what happened.

After sentencing Baird to one year in jail, with credit for time served, and three years probation the judge told her she was "getting quite a deal" because she could have gone to prison for up to 15 years.

Leslie Baird, center, enters Third District Court, Tuesday, April 17 2007, in Tooele, Utah. Baird, a former Tooele School District employee, was sentenced to one year in jail and three years probation for a second-degree felony charge of forcible sexual abuse of a 17-year-old male student. (AP Photo/Troy Boman, Pool)
Leslie Baird, center, enters Third District Court, Tuesday, April 17 2007, in Tooele, Utah. Baird, a former Tooele School District employee, was sentenced to one year in jail and three years probation for a second-degree felony charge of forcible sexual abuse of a 17-year-old male student. (AP Photo/Troy Boman, Pool)

As part of her sentence, Baird will have to register as a sex offender and is not allowed to have a cell phone.

Members and friends of the Baird family meet outside the Tooele County Courthouse after the sentencing of Lesile Baird Tuesday, April 17, 2007, in Tooele, Utah. Baird was sentenced to one year in jail and three years probation. (AP Photo/Troy Boman, Pool)
Members and friends of the Baird family meet outside the Tooele County Courthouse after the sentencing of Lesile Baird Tuesday, April 17, 2007, in Tooele, Utah. Baird was sentenced to one year in jail and three years probation. (AP Photo/Troy Boman, Pool)

The victim's families were in court this morning. They all declined to talk to reporters, but prosecutors say they are relieved that this is over. Attorneys on both sides say she is remorseful.

Prosecutor Gary Searle said, "There is a marked change from when she was first arrested and put it jail to where she stands today. The arrogance is gone, the attitude is gone, the victim stance is gone."

Defense attorney William Parsons said, "Ms. Baird is a repentant person. She is going to do fine; she is not going to cause any difficulty in the future."

Baird worked in the resource department at Tooele High School. Prosecutors say last fall she met two male students at a local convenience store. She took them to a campground in Rush Valley, gave them alcohol and had sex with them. Prosecutors say she also sent them inappropriate text messages, which the victims' parents discovered.

Third District Judge, Mark S. Kouris listens to Leslie Baird's final statement before sentencing, Tuesday April 17, 2007, in Tooele, Utah. Baird, a former Tooele County School District employee, was sentenced to one year in jail and three years probation for forcible sexual abuse of a 17-year-old male student. (AP Photo/Troy Boman, Pool)
Third District Judge, Mark S. Kouris listens to Leslie Baird's final statement before sentencing, Tuesday April 17, 2007, in Tooele, Utah. Baird, a former Tooele County School District employee, was sentenced to one year in jail and three years probation for forcible sexual abuse of a 17-year-old male student. (AP Photo/Troy Boman, Pool)

Baird was charged with three counts of forcible sexual abuse, but two of those charges were dropped in a plea deal.

Baird has been in custody since January when she was ordered to the Utah State Prison for a diagnostic evaluation. Attorneys say there are biases when it comes to female sex offenders, but they believe this sentence was fair.

Baird is married with children.

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