No jail time for Cherryville teacher who sexually assaulted student

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A former Cherryville High School teacher pleaded guilty Tuesday to sending nude pictures and then sexually assaulting a student in her home.

[PAST COVERAGE: Cherryville high school teacher charged with having sex with student]

Summer Sparrow connected with a 17-year-old student through the social media app SnapChat, according to search warrants. The court documents showed their messages turned flirtatious and she ended up picking him up at a car wash across the street from the police department and brought him to her house.

They had sex and the student snapped a picture of Sparrow that he later shared with his friends, according to the documents.

The plea kept the 17-year-old out of court.

“The young man now knows he won’t have to get up on the stand and testify,” said Gaston County District Attorney Locke Bell. “He won’t be subject to being bombarded on cross-examination.”

As part of the deal, Summer Sparrow won’t face any jail time, but the district attorney took away her teaching license. She also must avoid Gaston County schools for one year and stay out of trouble.

Sparrow can attend some events at Gaston County Schools but she would have to get permission from her parole officer. He said to get permission, the event would likely have to include her children or a close relative.

(Summer Sparrow)

If she violates the terms, she faces 16 months in prison.

“It will show up on her record that the charges are dismissed and she will also have the opportunity to petition the court for an expungement of the charges,” said defense attorney Travis Page.

It means that Sparrow can have the charges removed from her criminal history, but attorneys on both sides said she can’t erase the images of her being publicly charged and surrendering her license.

(Click PLAY to watch Sparrows leave the courtroom)

“It kind of undermines her credibility in the classroom so I think today ends it for her as teaching,” Page said.

Sparrow’s attorney said she regrets what happened and is concerned for everyone involved, but would not share her feelings specifically about the 17-year-old victim.

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