The Iowa Supreme Court says a teacher can be charged with exploitation of students even if the victims are not currently students of the teacher. The case involved Brent Romer, who at the time was teaching elementary school in the Cumberland and Massena district, and had previously been a substitute teacher for Corning.
Romer was convicted of five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee after it was discovered he had a sexual relationship with a teen girl, and had taken nude pictures of two other teen girls in sexually explicit poses.
Romer had first met all the girls when he was a substitute teacher in their elementary classes. He appealed his convictions saying he could not have violated the law because had no direct teacher-student relationship with the girls at the time of the incidents. Romer also argued that taking pictures was not engaging in sexual activity with the girls, and that the cases should have been tried individually.
The Iowa Supreme Court upheld the district court guilty ruling. It said that law regarding school employees is intended to be broadly defined and covers Romer’s exploitation, even though he was not the girls’ teacher at the time. The court said Romer’s actions in orchestrating the photos were sufficient to be defined as sexual conduct.
And the court said all if the cases fit a common pattern, so it was proper to try them together.
See the complete ruling here: Romer ruling PDF