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The Arkansas Supreme Court on Friday overturned a state law that had made it illegal for a teacher to have sex with a student under the age of 21.
Reuters reports that, in a 4-3 decision, the court ruled in favor of David Paschal, a former teacher who had sex with an 18-year-old student when she was a senior in high school. Paschal was sentenced last year to 30 years in prison for four counts of sexual assault and bribing a witness.
"Regardless of how we feel about Paschal's conduct, which could correctly be referred to as reprehensible, we cannot abandon our duty to uphold the rule of law when a case presents distasteful facts," Chief Justice Jim Hannah wrote.
Fox News notes that the Arkansas attorney general's office may appeal the decision. "We respect the Court's decision, although we disagree with it," a spokesman explained. "We are currently evaluating our options, which include seeking a rehearing."
You can read more on Paschal and the case over at USA Today.