Calif. teachers convicted of group sex with student sentenced to probation

Daniel Alma Shepard and Gay Davidson-Shepard

Daniel Alma Shepard and Gay Davidson-Shepard

WESTMINSTER, Calif. — Married teachers in Orange County were sentenced Thursday to probation for having a months-long sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student, individually and as a couple.

Gay Davidson-Shepard and her husband, Daniel Alma Shepard, also received suspended jail sentences and must undergo counseling and complete community service, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

The couple’s attorney, Salvatore Ciulla, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Prosecutors said the Huntington Beach couple began grooming the teen in 2009 when he was a student at Westminster High School by inviting him over for meals, drinking, movies and board games. The first sexual encounter was a month later after they urged him to get into their hot tub with them, authorities said.

The sexual activity allegedly continued on a weekly basis for months, but prosecutors said they could not charge the couple with any crimes for sex that happened after the teen turned 18.

The boy told his mother about the abuse in 2011 and she went to police, prosecutors said.

Davidson-Shepard and Shepard both pleaded guilty to multiple sex-related counts in a court offer in August.

After initially posting bail, Gay Davidson-Shepard was rearrested in November 2011 on suspicion of violating a protective order when she called and texted the teenager multiple times after she was released in the original case on bail, prosecutors said.

Gay Davidson-Shepard was a teacher at Mesa View Middle School in Huntington Beach, and Daniel Shepard was a teacher at Westminster High School in Westminster.

Credit: The Associated Press.

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