A former substitute teacher in New Jersey recently gave an absurd, extremely far-fetched excuse for sexting and engaging in sex acts with underage students.
The reason she participated in the lewd behavior had to do with religion, she said. That’s right, religion. Linda Hardan’s attorney, Alissa Hascup, blamed the former teacher’s behavior on her strict religious upbringing, North Jersey reported.
Linda Hardan, of Prospect Park, was sentenced to three years in prison for engaging in sex acts with and sending sexually explicit text messages to students between the ages of 14 and 16 while she was a substitute teacher at Manchester Regional High School in 2014.
Hardan pleaded guilty to sexual assault and child endangerment last June, WNYW reported.
In court Monday, Hascup said prison wouldn’t do Hardan much good and that she should instead be treated by a therapist under strict supervision.
Hardan, who appeared in court in Muslim attire, cried as her relatives pleaded on her behalf, calling her a rock of the family.
However, Assistant Prosecutor Gyselle Da Silva focused on Hardan’s actions, which included sending over 40 photos of herself “in varying states of undress” to a 14-year-old boy and driving a 16-year-old boy to a waterfall and giving him oral sex.
One boy was reportedly so distraught he dropped out of school.
Passaic County Superior Court Judge Miguel de la Carrera actually saw some logic in the excuses and found enough mitigating factors to lower Hardan’s sentence to three years, the U.K. Daily Mail reported.
De la Carrera suggested that Hardan’s strict upbringing had stunted her emotional growth.
“She had classmates and friends, but somehow, perhaps because of limitations on her dating life, she didn’t find the proper outlet among males of her own age,” the judge said. “She did not learn how to interact with guys her age.”
The judge reportedly added, “There might be a wish for the law to be more nuanced, a wish that the law might be different, but it’s not.”
The law is the law for a reason — to protect innocent people.
There is simply no excuse for this kind of behavior. There are plenty of well-adjusted individuals who grew up with a strict religious upbringing but have not molested children.
This woman got what she deserved.
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