Arkansas 18-year-olds can now freely engage in sex with their teachers. The state's Supreme Court yesterday struck down the state's law banning sexual contact between teachers and students, finding that people 18 or older have a constitutional right to engage in a consensual sexual relationship. The court sided with 38-year-old David Paschal, an Elkins High School history and psychology teacher who admitted having a five-month consensual sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student.
"Regardless of how we feel about Paschal's conduct, which could correctly be referred to as reprehensible, we cannot abandon our duty to uphold the rule of law when a case presents distasteful facts," wrote the chief justice. Paschal, who is serving a 30-year sentence, will have his convictions reversed and dismissed. Attorneys for the state argued the law protects high school students from sexual advances of teachers who are in positions of authority. It is unclear if the state will appeal the ruling.