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Teacher turns self in for alleged student sex

Amy Beck, 33, is accused of having sex with a teenage male student over a six-month period in 2009. (Scott Smeltzer/Burbank Leader)

March 9, 2010 12:50:28 AM PST
A Burbank middle school teacher was arrested for allegedly having sex with one of her teenage male students over a six-month period. Amy Beck, 33, walked into the Burbank police station and turned hersef in on Monday afternoon, accompanied by her lawyer. She was charged Tuesday on four counts of unlawful sex with a person under 16 and one count of oral copulation with a person under 16.

Investigators allege Beck, a teacher at David Starr Jordan Middle School, was having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old male student from March to September 2009. The unidentified boy was 15 when the alleged affair ended.

Beck had apparently been feeling a lot of remorse for the crime and decided to come forward.

"She said she had sexual relations with one of her students," said Burbank police Sgt. Robert Quesada. "She said her conscience was bothering her and she just wanted to get this off her chest."

Police said the victim recently confirmed the sexual affair to detectives.

Beck had been teaching social science at the school for about four years, but recently resigned. School officials said they were blindsided by the arrest.

"She resigned last week, and quite frankly we didn't have any knowledge or understanding as to why that happened," said Burbank Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Gabe Soumakian. "She was going to move out of town, but we didn't know what other issues that were being brought forward."

Police said Beck is married with children. They said they were shocked she would be so candid about such a crime.

"I don't even know of robbery suspects, or anybody, burglary suspects that would turn themselves in like that. But, like I said, the detective says she was just filled with guilt. I guess her conscience just bothered her," said Quesada.

Beck was held on $400,000 bail and was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Burbank Superior Court. If convicted, she faces up to seven years in state prison.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call Burbank police Detective Wally Schilling at (818) 238-3254.