Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Female Sex Offenders

Shifting Attitudes

Pamela Balogh
Pamela Balogh

Similar to Culbertson, coach and physical education teacher, Pamela Balogh, was arrested and charged in December 2006 for sexually assaulting a female student over a period of ten months. The alleged incidents took place while Balogh was at Immaculata High School in Somverville, New Jersey and she was jailed in Somerset County. Posting bail, she was released, with the stipulation that she have no contact with the victim or any other student.

The victim was on the basketball team, and according to her statement the alleged sexual contact began in December 2004, when she was 15, ending in the fall of 2005. At that time, Balogh, a basketball player and coach of some renown, had taken a teaching job at North Hunterdon High.

Rachel Holt
Rachel Holt

Apparently, the girl told someone at the school, who then notified the Diocese of Metuchen; they passed the allegations on to the appropriate authorities. Reportedly, most of the incidents occurred in the coach's office. Balough was charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault, and third and fourth-degree aggravated criminal sexual conduct, as well as endangering the welfare of a child. The case is still pending.

In Wilmington, Delaware, Rachel Holt, 35, received a ten-year sentence in March. Alluding to incidents in 2006 involving a 13-year-old boy that resulted in 28 counts of first-degree rape, Holt told the court, "I know what I did was wrong." Not only did she involve the boy in a weeklong affair but also gave him alcohol and let him to drive her car illegally. She supposedly allowed a 12-year-old boy to watch her with the victim. Her attorney protested the sentence, saying that his review of 40 other such cases resulted in sentences that averaged from 18 months to two years. Nevertheless, Holt escaped the maximum sentence of 25 years, which prosecutors had requested. She read a three-page letter of apology to the victim's family.

Jennifer Mally
Jennifer Mally

Arizona, too, suffered the shock of a female teacher defying community trust. The Arizona Republic reported early in May 2007 that Jennifer Mally had been arrested in Phoenix. An English teacher and cheerleading coach at Paradise Valley High School, Mally was accused of having sex 29 times over seven months with a 16-year-old boy. She was 26.

Journalist Michael Clancy cites a study undertaken by Donna Vandiver at Illinois State University and Jeffery Walker at the University of Arkansas, who analyzed forty cases of female teacher offenders. They were largely young and white, and without prior criminal records. Several had abused drugs and a few (no percentages cited) suffered from some form of mental illness, such as depression or bipolar disorder. Some had abuse in their history.

Clancy also indicates that in Arizona, dating back to 2002, ten female teachers had lost their teaching certification due to sexual offenses. Three faced criminal penalties.

On May 30, a second student came forward in this case to say that he'd had sexual contact with Mally. By this point, she had been charged with seventeen counts of sexual contact with a minor. However, this student was 18, so he was not considered a minor, although he was a student (not illegal but unethical).

Donna Vandiver
Donna Vandiver

At this time, the police report was made public, revealing the victim's admission that he was the one who had initiated the encounter with Mally. He'd initially sent her questions about an assignment via text messaging and he soon began asking about sexual activity. She apparently responded in detail, getting personal. They developed an attraction and agreed to wait for sex until after he graduated, but then went ahead with it.

At the request of police, the victim participated in a sting, calling Mally and getting her responses on tape. She admitted she knew his age, that what she was doing would land her in jail, and that she was indeed having sex with him. According to the Mesa Tribune, Mally had repeated sexual contact, in both of their residences, in her car, and at other locations in the area.

Despite the fact that some of these teachers are getting harsh sentences, this activity will continue, prompted in part by society's shifting attitudes.

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