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Former teacher gets 30 days, probation for sex with student

A man surrendered his teaching license and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and probation after admitting he had sex with a student while working as a teacher at Rogue River High School.

Jacob Sawyer Vizcarra, 25, was pleaded guilty to sexual abuse and official misconduct over a sexual relationship with a minor student. 

The victim was weeks away from her 18th birthday when the relationship began last spring, according to Jeni Feinberg, Vizcarra's defense lawyer. Vizcarra, who was 23 at the time, engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim while she was a minor between March 5 and April 21, 2016, court records show. 

Senior Deputy District Attorney Terry Smith-Norton, who prosecuted the case, said the victim still sees the relationship as consensual and peer-to-peer. She said that while prosecutors believe jail is appropriate for the crime, the victim likely would argue otherwise.

"She still very much cares about the defendant," Smith-Norton said, adding that the victim strikes her as "very impressionable," and believes the victim in time will look back at the relationship with a different perspective.

Vizcarra was the victim's teacher, but little additional detail about the contact between them was discussed during the public hearing.

Smith-Norton said that not only did Vizcarra engage in sexual abuse with a minor, but he was in a "position of trust" as a teacher. 

Had the student been 18 at the time of Vizcarra's relationship, he still would have been guilty of the official misconduct because he was a teacher at the time he engaged in sexual activity with the student, according to Feinberg. She said her client has "incredible remorse" over the relationship, and Vizcarra was too emotional to read an apology letter he'd written.

Vizcarra was sentenced to two years of probation and was ordered to register as a sex offender following his plea of guilty to a single felony count of second-degree sexual abuse and a misdemeanor count of first-degree official misconduct.

Feinberg requested a community service sentence on the official misconduct conviction, arguing that her client was "traumatized" during the hours he spent in jail last June. However, Hoppe sentenced Vizcarra to the maximum 30 days in jail, but gave him until June 15 to report.

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

Jacob Sawyer Vizcarra