A high-school teacher who was jailed for performing sex acts on her underage students has blamed her strict Islamic upbringing for her crimes.
Linda Hardan, a substitute teacher at Manchester Regional High School in 2014, was sentenced last Monday to three years in prison after sending scores of sexually explicit text messages to several pupils, aged 14 to 16 years-old in 2014, and then engaging in sex acts with them.
Alissa Hascup, her defense lawyer, said the Muslim woman was driven in part to commit the offences due to her strict religious upbringing, and suggested that she be treated by a therapist as oppose to serving time in prison.
Hardan, 22, had pleaded guilty in a deal with the Prosecutor’s Office that had called for a five-year prison sentence.
However, after hearing tearful pleas from members of Hardan’s family, along with arguments from defense lawyer Alissa Hascup and Assistant Prosecutor Gyselle Da Silva, Passaic County Superior Court Judge Miguel de la Carrera found enough evidence to depart from the plea deal and instead impose a three-year sentence.
Hardan wept quietly as she heard members of her family plead to the judge that she was “the foundation, the rock” of her family and that they would be devastated if she were to be sent to prison.
North Jersey reports:
The judge presiding over the case reportedly added, “There might be a wish for the law to be more nuanced, a wish that the law might be different, but it’s not.”
Just as ignorance of the law is not an excuse for breaking it, a strict cultural upbringing is not justification for sexually assaulting a minor. The law is the law for a reason — to protect innocent people. This woman got what she deserved. Although, I would argue that she deserved a longer prison sentence.
H/T [Conservative Tribune]