Saying the trial-court jury should not have heard the testimony of three former students who had legal sex with music teacher Carlie Rose Attebury after they graduated, the California appeals court overturned the former El Modena High School instructor's November 2010 conviction for sex with an underage male in her classes.
The 31-year-old Orange resident in March 2011 was sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
The then-band director's drum major testified during the trial that he had a crush on Attebury as a sophomore at the Orange school, that they shared a homecoming kiss when he was 15 and that they graduated to full-blown sex after he turned 16.
Other allegations surfaced that Attebury told the boy she loved him and they would get married, and that they engaged in sexual intercourse multiple times in the classroom and her home.
Another student apparently discovered the affair and tried to blackmail the teacher, who went to police, denied the affair and got the accuser busted. But Attebury is also said to have creeper out students and parents by straddling the boy in the bleachers of a school event when he was 15 and stroking his hair.
Attebury, who denied having a sexual affair with the teen to the end, claimed she was being undermined by students and parents who were jealous of her choosing the teen as the marching band's drum major.
She wept openly and loudly when she was found guilty of one count of unlawful sexual intercourse, two counts of oral copulation of a minor under 16, and one count of sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor. She had been acquitted of one count of lewd acts on a child and one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime.
But the appellate justices ruled this week the prosecution's witnesses were "extremely prejudicial." The Orange County District Attorney's office is considering whether to re-try Attebury, City News Service reports.Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly
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