Austin, Texas (AP) A 27-year-old Texas teacher is facing charges for having a relationship with a 17-year-old student he planned to marry.
Randy Arias could get 20 years in prison if convicted under a 2003 Texas law that makes it a crime for a teacher to have sexual contact with a student in the same school, no matter how old.
The girl in this case was old enough to legally consent but because arias was a teacher at her school, the relationship was illegal.
The teacher was charged even though the girl's mother had already given her blessing to their marriage, going with them when they applied for a license.
The law has proven difficult to prosecute in the past. An official of the Texas district and county attorneys office says if there is a conviction, the result is typically probation “if the two parties are still in a relationship.”