Ex-teacher gets four months for sexual battery

TUPELO – Former Saltillo High School teacher Elizabeth Hope Johns-Pittman will serve four months in the Lee County jail after pleading guilty Wednesday to three counts of felony sexual battery.
The former 32-year-old English teacher admitted to having sex with a then-16-year-old male student on three different occasions. During her plea, she admitted to the sex acts with the student during what were supposed to be tutoring sessions at her home, and she asked the court for leniency on her sentencing.
Judge Jim Roberts sentenced her to four months in the county jail and suspended the rest of a 20-year sentence on the three counts. The judge said Johns-Pittman deserved jail time because she violated the public trust of a teacher and pupil.
Assistant District Attorney Paul Gault said the district attorney’s office respects the judge’s sentencing.
“Due to Ms. John’s position as a school teacher and her violation of the trust which comes with that position, the state argued that Ms. Johns should receive some period of incarceration. Ultimately, we respect the court’s decision,” said Gault.
Johns-Pittman was immediately taken into custody.
She also was ordered to serve five years’ probation, serve 200 hours of public service and write an essay. She also must register as a sex offender.

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@journalinc.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal