A 24-year-old former teaching assistant in Illinois who admitted to having sex with a 14-year-old student has been sentenced to four years of probation, according to a report.
Allyssa Gustafson pleaded guilty in September to aggravated criminal sexual abuse stemming from an inappropriate relationship with the student at the Circle Academy in Urbana, where she worked as a teacher’s aide.
Judge Roger Webber on Friday said he did not believe the female pedophile, who had no prior criminal convictions, was a danger to the public, the News-Gazette reported.
He noted that the requirement that Gustafson register as a sex offender for life — “the modern-day equivalent of the scarlet letter” — would serve as punishment.
In return for her plea, Assistant State’s Attorney Kristin Alferink dismissed a more serious count of criminal sexual assault, according to the newspaper.
Alferink, who sought a five-year prison sentence, reminded the judge that Gustafson and the boy had several sexual encounters between May and August 2019.
“She sent him photos of herself in lingerie and a bathing suit,” he said, adding that Gustafson had told the teen to delete any social-media posts between the two of them.
Michael Kleppin, a sex-offender evaluator and treatment provider, testified that Gustafson had been helped by counseling.
Her attorney, Mark Lipton, argued that she is not a danger to the community and will be closely monitored while on probation.
“I made a terrible error in judgment and this has hurt a lot of people,” Gustafson said tearfully as she apologized to the boy and his mother, who was in court, as well as her own parents.
“I am sorry for the pain I have caused so many people,” she said.
The victim’s mother had previously said Gustafson deserved a harsher sentence.
“It was numerous times, it was numerous messages, it was numerous conversations,” his mom, who did not want her name reported for privacy reasons, told WCIA.