The 33-year-old teacher pleaded guilty to transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of unlawful sexual activity
• Heather Hare pleaded guilty to transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of unlawful sexual activity.
• She told the victim she dreamed of having sex with him, and estimated she abused him 20 to 30 times
• She was featured on Good Morning America in 2020 when her students made a tribute video for her when her class was discontinued due to distance learning
An Arkansas high school teacher who was featured on Good Morning America in 2020 after her students made her a heartwarming video has pleaded guilty to transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of unlawful sexual activity.
An investigation revealed that 33-year-old Heather Hare had sex with a senior student at Bryant High School in Bryant, Ark., according to a press release from the office of Jonathan D. Ross, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Hare, who taught Family Consumer Science at the school, admitted to having sex with the student, a minor, approximately 20 to 30 times throughout the 2021-2022 school year, per the release.
She and the unnamed student had sex multiple times at her home in Conway, Ark., as well as in her vehicle, her classroom and in parking lots at the school.
Hare met the victim on his first day of class and began counseling him in a one-on-one setting, per the release. She later gave him her phone number, Instagram account and Snapchat account and, after telling him that she had dreamed of them having sex, her home address.
During an April 2022 class field trip to Washington, D.C., which Hare sponsored and chaperoned, she and the victim engaged in the unlawful sexual activity to which she pleaded guilty on Monday.
“This former teacher took advantage of her position of trust and the vulnerability of a minor, using her role to entice and lure this minor into engaging in unlawful sexual activity,” Ross said in a statement. “Our office will continue to seek significant penalties against any educational professional who sexually abuse [sic] their students.”
Prior to meeting the victim, Hare was featured on Good Morning America in 2020 after a group of her students made her a heartfelt farewell video after her consumer science course was halted amid distance learning during the pandemic.
"I immediately started bawling my eyes out," Hare said at the time. "It was fun to see which face would pop up next."
According to the press release from federal authorities, Hare was indicted last August and charged with one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of interstate/foreign travel for prostitution/sexual activity by coercion. Prosecutors dropped the latter charge in exchange for her guilty plea.
Hare will be sentenced at a later date, but transportation of a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity is “punishable by not less than 10 years imprisonment and up to life imprisonment, and not less than five years of supervised release,” per the release.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
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