In Focus

Ex-teacher gets jail time doubled for sex with student

Friday, January 31, 2014
Jail time for teacher accused of sex with student Kathryn Murray Kathryn Camille Murray Kathryn Camille Murray

There are new developments in a high profile case of a local teacher who was caught having a sexual relationship with a student. She'll now be spending twice as much time in jail -- thanks to a mistake that was caught after she was sentenced.

No one would admit to making that mistake -- neither the visiting judge presiding over the sentence nor the district attorney's office. But no matter who's to blame, the parents of the teenager believe that despite the new sentence, it's still not good enough.

"Quite honestly, I'm disgusted with it," said Alex Pallais, the boy's father.

Alex Pallais doesn't hold back.

"He's also a victim, and the court system doesn't see that," he said.

Last week, former Spring Branch ISD teacher Katherine Murray was sentenced to one year in jail and one year probation after pleading guilty to having repeated sex with her then 15-year-old student.

"We were in shock," said the boy's mother. "We were like, what just happened in that courtroom?"

His parents were hoping for a stricter sentence, especially after getting a call from their attorney from their attorney.

"He called us and said there's been a mistake," Pallais said,

It turns out Murray's original sentence did not meet sentencing guidelines and on Friday she was re-sentenced to two years in state prison with no probation.

Eyewitness News legal analyst Joel Androphy said, "Very uncommon, it just doesn't happen."

Androphy says the mistake should have never happened.

"The judge is responsible for making sure that what he signs off on is correct," he said. "The DA's office dropped the ball and the judge dropped the ball."

Although a year of prison has been added to Murray's sentence, the boy's parents still believe the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

Pallais said, "The entire time judgment was with her because she's a woman and everybody sees that he's a male and (they think) that he wanted it."

The boy is now in a private boarding school in Louisiana. His parents say he suffers from severe depression and has tried to commit suicide because of what has happened.

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