A Texas high school teacher who had drunken sex with two students — and claimed she didn’t remember doing so — pleaded guilty on Wednesday, PEOPLE confirms.
Online court records show Lynne Anne Burge, 33, pleaded guilty to two counts of improper relationship between educator and student. A third charge, online solicitation of a minor, was dismissed, the records show.
Burge was a teacher at Muenster High School in rural Texas, approximately 80 miles north of Forth Worth.
The case against her began in September of 2018, when the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services received an anonymous tip about the sexual contact.
According to an arrest warrant first obtained by the Gainesville Register, Burge had sex with two of her high school students. One student was described as a 16-year-old male and the other was described as an adult at the time of the sexual abuse.
During an interview at the Cooke County Child Advocacy Center, the 16-year-old student said he and Burge began messaging on Snapchat “in or about September or October 2017” and sent naked photos to each other on the app, according to the arrest warrant.
The teen also said that he and Burge drove around the rural back roads while drinking alcohol. He said they began to kiss before returning to her home, where they had sex.
The Register reports that the teen “fell asleep in Burge’s kid’s bedroom before she woke him up and asked him to get in bed with her,” according to the arrest report.
According to multiple outlets, police interviewed Burge on October 11. She claimed she was highly intoxicated on both nights she was accused of having sex with the students, and said she didn’t remember doing so.
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Burge acknowledged that she remembered driving on backroads with the 16-year-old student while she was intoxicated, according to the arrest report. She told police she remembered nothing about the night until she woke up the following morning with the teen in bed with her.
According to the arrest warrant, police asked Burge if she had sex with the student. “I don’t know,” she answered. “I hope not. I don’t know. I didn’t think I did because my clothes were on. Usually if that happens your clothes aren’t on. I don’t know, I don’t know, I can’t remember anything.”
In March of 2018, Burge had sex with an 18-year-old adult student. Under Texas law, a teacher is forbidden to have sexual contact with a student even if the student has reached the age of majority. The adult student corroborated that he had unprotected sex with Burge, according to the arrest report.
KXII-TV reported that Burge was married with two children at the time of the sexual encounters. The school district’s website previously said Burge taught Intro to Culinary Arts, Child Development and Principles of Human Services. She had taught for two years in the district.
Teacher Spared Prison Time
The Gainesville Register, citing Burge’s attorney, Rick Hagen, said that under the plea agreement, Burge will serve five years of deferred adjudication probation and will pay a $5,000 fine.
She was fired from her job after she was charged, and Hagen told the paper she must surrender her teaching license.
Hagen said Burge will not have to register as a sex defender. He told the paper she is “incredibly remorseful, she is ashamed.”
“Alcohol was in issue in this case,” Hagen said. “While it was an issue, it was not an excuse. Lynn has not had a drop of alcohol since she was accused. She is committed to AA and has been to a counselor on a regular basis.”
Hagen told the paper the families involved did not want Burge to go to prison.
In a statement to the Register, Cooke County District Attorney John Warren said that “after consulting with the families of the victims and receiving their input, we believe that this is a just and appropriate plea. The victims in this case will now be able to begin to put this behind them and move on with their lives.”