D.A. to oppose former teachers' sentence

The Orange County district attorney's office plans to object to the proposed sentence for two former teachers who pleaded guilty to having sexual relations with a 17-year-old boy.

Deputy District Attorney Nicole Varner said her office will file its objection at the hearing Thursday morning of Daniel Shepard and Gay Davidson-Shepard. The Huntington Beach couple is scheduled to appear at 8:30 a.m. at the West Justice Center in Westminster.

Varner declined comment on the sentence her office would recommend for the Shepards, but said the couple had worked out a plea deal with Judge John S. Adams that comprised three years' formal probation, counseling and 60 days of community service. Shepard faces two years and Davidson-Shepard four years in prison, if they violate probation.

"[Adams] listened to everything I had to say," Varner said. "He listened to everything the defense had to say. He took the factors all into consideration, and that was the sentence he decided was appropriate."

Adams could not be reached for comment.

The victim, who is now a 20-year-old adult living in Anaheim, plans to testify along with his mother at Thursday's hearing. The Independent is withholding their names, due to the nature of the case.

"If my son's life is only worth 60 hours of community service, Lord help everybody," the mother said.

The victim told the Independent that he became acquainted with Shepard when he was an incoming sophomore at Westminster High School and later became an aide in the teacher's biology class. The two struck up a friendship, and the victim, then a minor, soon began going to the Shepards' home for dinner.

Although the visits started with dinner, movies and other social activities, they later involved drinking and sexual acts with the couple. The victim disclosed the relationship to his mother in March 2011, and the Shepards were arrested the following month.

At the time of the arrest, Davidson-Shepard taught at Mesa View Middle School in Huntington Beach.

According to Los Angeles Times archives, the Shepards served in high-ranking positions during their teaching careers — Shepard as president of the District Educators Assn. for the Huntington Beach Union High School District, Davidson-Shepard as teachers association president for the Ocean View School District.

The victim said having the Shepards in prison would help to speed the healing process.

"I just want it all to be over," he said. "I want to go on with my life."


Twitter: @MichaelMillerHB

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