Virginia Hinckley, the former St. Johns County teacher accused of having sex with a student, has been sentenced to six months in jail and will have to register as a sex offender.
Hinckley pleaded no contest and could have been sentenced to 15 years in jail for unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office started investigating a relationship between Hinckley and one of her students in October 2015 after receiving reports that she had sexual activity with a 16-year-old male student who was in her class.
Hinckley told authorities that she had a bubbly personality and that students misconstrued it as flirtatious. According to the affidavit, Hinckley was engaging in sexual relations with a total of three male students.
Investigators interviewed one of the teen victims, who said he’d asked for the teacher’s number a few days after school began in August.
Initially, the report said, Hinckley declined to give him the number, but gave it to him the next day with instructions not to tell anyone. After the exchange, the report said, Hinckley sent the teen explicit images. The teen said he lost the phone.
The victim said that, during the month of August, he went to Hinckley’s classroom around 4 p.m. and the two began kissing one another. In the report, Hinckley is said to have asked the victim if he wanted to go somewhere private, so they went to Treaty Park in St. Augustine, a collection of four lighted fields that is home to an adult softball league.
The report said Hinckley and the teen had oral sex and unprotected sex in the backseat of her SUV. Afterward, the report said, Hinckley sent the teen a text saying “You better keep your mouth shut about this.”
On Oct. 28, authorities obtained warrants to search Hinckley’s cell phone, which confirmed digital communication between Hinckley and the victim, including two calls from the victim between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Aug. 18.
A warrant was also issued for Hinckley’s car, which was seized for evidence.
After the investigation began, she was suspended with pay by the St. Johns County School District.
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