After school employee sentencings, attorney says courts are gender-biased

After school employee sentencings, attorney says courts are gender-biased. Pictured: Jack Crawford, defense attorney. (WISH Photo/Joe Melillo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Former IPS counselor Shana Taylor, initially accused of having sex with students, pleaded guilty to less severe charges than she first faced. Her punishment is starkly different from another high profile case at a different local school.

Prosecutors originally charged Taylor with child seduction but dropped most of those charges in exchange for guilty pleas on three charges for sending illicit photos to the students. She will avoid jail time, and she will not have to register as a sex offender.

Shana Taylor (Provided Photo/IMPD)
Shana Taylor (Provided Photo/IMPD)

Taylor will spend six years in home detention after taking her plea deal. She will also have to give up her teaching license.

Local defense attorney Jack Crawford says the results of the case make it seem like the courts are gender biased. Crawford noted the different outcome in this case with the case against former Park Tudor coach Kyle Cox, who received 14 years behind bars for exchanging inappropriate text messages with a female student.

“It appears the system doesn’t treat that anywhere near as serious as when the victims are female students,” said Crawford. “Young boys can suffer psychological, emotional trauma over this kind of episode just as young girls can.”

WISH-TV also talked to the President and CEO of the Julian Center, a victim support center in Indianapolis about the case.

Kyle Cox was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison. (WISH Photo)
Kyle Cox was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison. (WISH Photo)

“It’s important that we send a strong message to our community that this is behavior that we don’t tolerate,” said Catherine O’Conner. “We protect our children and all people who are victims of sexual assault need to feel like they’re safe, and they need to feel like if they ask for help that we will support them and stand behind them.”

IPS does still face a lawsuit over the Shana Taylor case. Two employees filed a wrongful termination suit after being fired for allegedly not reporting Taylor quickly enough. Two others faced charges and later had their cases resolved.

The district has made changes to its reporting process in response.