The lawyer for a New Jersey teacher convicted of having sex with at least two male students said her strict Muslim upbringing left her repressed, leading her to desire sexual contact with her students.
Linda Hardan, a 22-year-old former substitute teacher for Manchester Regional High School in Haledon, New Jersey, was arrested and charged after exchanging explicit text messages and ultimately having sex with at least two male students.
One victim, a 14-year-old student, was “disgusted” and “upset” about the sexual encounter. Hardan reportedly sent him nearly 40 sexually explicit text messages of herself in various states of undress, eventually driving him to a secluded area where she “performed a sex act on him.”
The student claimed he was so repulsed that he fled the vehicle and walked two miles back to his home.
Another victim, a 16-year-old, was so traumatized that he dropped out of school entirely, said prosecutor Gyselle Da Silva.
Hardan’s defense attorney, Alissa Hascup, insisted that her client’s strict Muslim upbringing repressed her, causing her to pursue sex with her students. She requested the judge sentence Hardan to therapy rather than prison time.
She ultimately accepted a deal with prosecutors for a five-year prison sentence, which was presented during the sentencing phase of her trial. Passaic County Superior Court Judge Miguel de la Carrera, however, imposed a lesser three-year sentence with the possibility of parole after one year, citing the mitigating factors of her childhood.
“She had classmates and friends, but somehow, perhaps because of limitations on her dating life, she didn’t find the proper outlet among males of her own age,” the judge said. “She did not learn how to interact with guys her age.”
European countries have seen a massive influx of sexual assaults following the decision by their governments to accept millions of undocumented Muslim migrants from across the Middle East and Africa.
An Austrian appeals court tossed out the conviction of an Iraqi migrant who raped a ten-year-old boy in the changing room of a community pool after claiming he, after four months of not having sex, was having a “sexual emergency.”
The court ruled that prosecutors had not sufficiently proven that the man was aware the child had not consented.