A former substitute teacher in New Jersey has been sentenced to a three-year prison sentence for sending raunchy nude photos — and, in at least one case, engaging in oral sex with — three different male teen students.
The teacher is Linda Hardan, reports The Bergen Record.
Hardan, 22, met the three students — aged 16, 16 and 14 — while she was a substitute teacher at Manchester Regional High School amid North Jersey’s residential sprawl.
She sexted 40 photos of herself “in varying states of undress” to the 14-year-old student, according to prosecutors. Eventually, she drove him to the Great Falls of the Passaic River. There, she performed some unidentified sex act on him. The experience unsettled the student. He was “so disgusted that he got out of the car and walked home,” according to court records.
Hardan provided oral sex to one of the 16-year-old students, according to the New York Daily News.
The prosecutor in the case, Gyselle Da Silva, blamed Hardan for disturbing one of the 16-year-old male students so badly that he dropped out of high school — apparently permanently.
The incidents occurred in 2014, which means — if reports of Hardan’s current age are accurate — that she was apparently only 20 at the time.
Prosecutors charged Hardan with one count of second-degree sexual assault and a pair of child endangerment counts.
When she pleaded guilty in the summer, Hardan wept uncontrollably. The judge in the case, Miguel de la Carrera, stopped the proceedings temporarily so she could regain her composure, according to a contemporaneous account by The Record.
During Monday’s sentencing hearing, Hardan’s family members described her as “the foundation, the rock” of her family.
Hardan’s defense attorney, Alissa Hascup, told the judge that Hardan’s strict Muslim upbringing had caused her to send raunchy photos and engage in sex acts with the male teens.
De la Carrera, the judge, seems to have bought Hascup’s argument, at least partially.
“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,” De la Carrera said, according to The Record. “She did not learn how to interact with guys her age.”
The judge denied Hardan’s request to finish this semester’s coursework at Passaic County Community College before serving her prison term.
Hardan will be eligible for parole in a year but will face a lifetime of probation.