Another Arizona teacher will be spending time behind bars for having a sexual relationship with a student. Brian Bizzell, a former band teacher at Estrella Foothills High School, was sentenced last week to one year in jail for having multiple sexual encounters with a 17-year-old student, The Arizona Republic reports.
Bizzell entered into a plea agreement, pleading guilty to three counts of sexual conduct with a minor. Bizzell now has to register as a sex offender and will be on probation for the rest of his life.
School administrators first became aware of the relationship when a student handed over a lost cell phone to school officials. The phone had "sexually explicit text messages" from someone named Brian.
School officials called Goodyear police. The victim told authorities that she had numerous sexual encounters with Bizzell during school hours, on and off campus, between October and December 2011.
Under Arizona's criminal code, any adult who intentionally or knowingly has sexual intercourse or oral sex with anyone under the age of 18 can be charged with sexual conduct with a minor. If the defendant was the victim's parent, stepparent, guardian, or teacher, it's a class 2 felony and he or she is ineligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon, or early release if convicted.
Since the victim here was one of Bizzell's students, Bizzell's crime was a class 2 felony, and he'll be required to serve the entirety of his 1-year sentence. Considering the severity of the charge, Bizzell's sentence was pretty light. That's probably because of his plea agreement and the fact that the student was 17 at the time, a year away from legal age.
Brian Bizzell has since been fired from his job with the Buckeye Union High School District, and his teaching license has been permanently revoked. The National Association of State Directors for Teacher Education and Certification will be notified about the conviction, meaning Bizzell will probably never teach again.
- Brian Bizzell, Ex-Teacher Caught Arranging “Quickie” With Student, Gets Jail Time (Phoenix New Times)
- Sex Crimes (FindLaw)
- Amber Alerts (FindLaw)
- Sonoran Sky Teacher Arrested for Sexually Abusing Student (FindLaw’s Phoenix Criminal Law Blog)