SANTA MARIA - Brookann Collier was principal of Tunnell Elementary School in Santa Maria when she began an illegal sexual relationship with a 15 year old student, identified in court some three years ago as Jane Doe.
The relationship continued for several years and when Collier decided to end it because she was getting married an older Jane Doe reported the relationship to authorities.
Collier accepted a plea agreement in July of 2009 in which she was placed on 5 years felony probation.
A judge has granted her request to end her probation after just over three years so she can be allowed to leave the state and travel with her husband who often works overseas for the U.S. State Department.
"Originally she pleaded to multiple counts of felony child sex crimes and she had to serve a year in jail which she did and she had to do sex offender treatment which she did so we were satisfied with the original plea agreement", says Santa Barbara County Chief Deputy District Attorney Stephen Foley who prosecuted the case, "we certainly are disappointed the judge terminated her probation before the five years we originally agreed upon."
Harsher sentences have been handed down for child molestation crimes involving adult men and underage women.
Some question if there is a legal double standard for women found guilty of child molestation.
Foley says the law makes no distinction when it comes to the offender only with the age of the victim.
"What people may be thinking about is a different factual scenario where the child victims were much younger, in this case the victim was 15 years old", Foley says, "that's a different crime of a sexual abuse case where the child is say ten years old."
Foley says the Collier case was different from the start.
"She stepped up to the plate early, admitted her guilt on multiple felony counts, gave up her teaching credential and agreed to serve a year in county jail", Foley says, "I think based on the totality of the circumstances it was a fair resolution."
Collier's request to have her felony child molestation convictions reduced to misdemeanors was denied by the judge.
Collier is required to register as a sex offender in the area where she lives for the rest of her life.
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