Assistant principal gets 'lenient' sentence for having sex with student

An assistant school principal in Texas has received a lenient sentence after admitting to sneaking off with an 18-year-old student during a prom event in 2012 and having sex with the girl in his office.

Mark Steven West, 32, a married man with one child, was given a 'lenient' sentence on Tuesday of four months in jail followed by eight years probation after pleading guilty to the improper relationship while working a Spring High School in Spring, Texas.

He had previously claimed the girl initiated his actions, seducing him by saying she was 'feeling horny'.

She also told police she encouraged West to have sex.

Despite the light punishment, the judge was scathing in handing down the punishment, saying that just three weeks after the incident the girl would have graduated, which would have made their encounter legal.

'You did it because you enjoyed the attention of young girls,' State District Judge Catherine Evans said.

'We're talking about a razor thin margin of three weeks between what separates a felony crime from a poor decision to have an inappropriate extramarital affair.'

Texas law prohibits educators having sex with students.

West apologized to the court, saying he made 'bad decisions made on impulses' and was being 'selfish'.

School officials were first tipped off to the allegations after hearing rumors and seeing inappropriate interactions between West and certain students at the school on separate occasions, according to court documents.

She also saw West 'body slam' a female student, in a playful manner, on a couch in the lobby office.

Students told investigators about rumors that West had sex with a student at the 2012 Project Prom event.

The woman, who is now at college, told investigators she seduced West.

She told investigators that she came on to West first and that he initially refused her advances, according to court documents.

She said she started to flirt and talk with West, allegedly telling him that she 'was horny and wanted to have sex with him'.

He tickled one girl, lifted up another, and was accused of making inappropriate comments to two others.

West was interviewed by a senior staff member at Spring High School in Texas in December 2012 after administrators heard that he made a sexual remark about one female student and possibly had sex with another.

He was also investigated in the 2011-2012 school year for inappropriately touching a female student on her lower back.

No charges were filed due to lack of evidence but he was ordered not to have any contact with female students.

One staff member said she was extremely uncomfortable by the number of lengthy 'closed door meetings' West was having with female students.

The staff member said she observed students leaving his office, smiling and laughing, with their clothes and hair disheveled.


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