Former Carson High Teacher Jennifer Dalton was told by parole board members on Wednesday staff have recommended she be paroled on her conviction for sexual conduct with a 17-year-old student.
Dalton, now 36, pleaded guilty to the charge, which does not charge sexual intercourse between the two, in Aug., 2013 and has been in the North Las Vegas women’s prison since she was sentenced.
Because of the nature of the charge, she was terminated by the high school and her teaching credentials revoked.
The full seven-member parole board is expected to vote on whether to release her from prison within a week.
She told the three-member panel she has experienced “a lot of spiritual growth” in her time in prison.
At the time of the incident, which was described as “hugging and kissing” by the other teacher who saw them in a closed classroom, she said she was under stress and had recently began taking prescription anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications.
“I don’t know how those affected me,” she said. “I think I was just at a point where I had strayed so far from what I know is right. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Commissioner Susan Jackson asked Dalton if she had ever even thought of having a sexual relationship with another student. Dalton said no.
She said in prison, she has had time to think and realizes she “violated the trust placed in me by my family and my former profession.” She asked the board to see the person she is now, not the person she was at the time of the offense.
Jackson told her she scored well on the assessment determining her potential to repeat the offense. She has had no other criminal record, strong family support — there were a dozen supporters at the hearing, including her husband — no disciplinary record during her prison time and no substance abuse issues. She also has a stable release plan, returning to Carson City to live with her husband and child and a job with Borda Automotive.
“You just have this incredible support from your family and friends,” Jackson told Dalton.
To be paroled, Dalton must receive at least four commissioners’ votes.