No jail time for ex-teacher

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, August 6, 2002

A former Brookhaven alternative school teacher and coachreceived a five-year suspended sentence Monday and will not seek astate teaching license again in Mississippi after earlier pleadingguilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor charges.

Judge Keith Starrett sentenced Aurelio Quinn, 25, of 726 LipseyStreet, to one year on each of eight counts of the misdemeanorcharges. The sentences on the first five counts were to runconsecutively, with the last three concurrently, and all weresuspended for five years probation.

Quinn, an alternative school instructor and assistant fast pitchsoftball coach at the high school, was charged with three felonycounts of attempted sexual battery, one count of touching, handlingor feeling a child for lustful purposes and four counts ofcontributing to the delinquency of a minor. In a plea agreement,the felony charges were reduced and Quinn pleaded guilty July29.

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The mother of one of the victims testified Monday about theerosion of trust that parents place in a school system. She spokeabout sexual conversations “that no adult should have with a minor”and threats of her child being sent to training school if theconversations were reported.

“She was scared … there’s no place my daughter can go to feelsafe anymore,” the mother said.

Quinn did not address the court during the sentencinghearing.

After the hearing, District Attorney Danny Smith said thedefendant’s conduct “consisted of lewd and solicitous language of asexual nature,” except for one case where he touched a student asshe left class.

“All of the young ladies appropriately rejected his advances butdid not report the defendant’s conduct to school authorities,generally our of fear and embarrassment,” Smith said.

The mother of one of the victims reported an incident to theDistrict Attorney’s Office in February. Smith complimentedBrookhaven School District officials on their quick action toremove the teacher from the classroom and ultimately terminated hiscontract after school officials were alerted.

Quinn was teaching on a special license that expired June 30. Acondition of the plea agreement was that he never seek a teachinglicense again in the state.

Also in the sentence, Quinn was ordered to pay $1,000 to theCrime Victims Compensation Fund and a total of $800 in fines. Hewas ordered to seek counseling for inappropriate sexualbehavior.

Smith also complimented the Brookhaven Police Department for itsrole in the investigation. He said Quinn’s sentence effectivelyremoves him from all public and private schools in the state.

“This action is in the best interest of our community and thestate,” Smith said.