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State v. Hirschfelder

Supreme Court of Washington
242 P.3d 876 (2010)


The State of Washington (plaintiff) charged Matthew Hirschfelder (defendant), a 33-year-old high school teacher, with first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor under RCW 9A.44.093(1)(b) (the statute) based on an incident during which Hirschfelder had sexual intercourse with A.N.T., an 18-year-old student of Hirschfelder’s. At the time of the incident, students aged out of Hirschfelder’s school at age 21. The statute provided that a person is guilty of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor if the person was a school employee who had sexual intercourse with a registered student of the school who was at least 16 years old and who was at least 60 months younger than the employee. Hirschfelder moved to dismiss the charge, contending that he did not violate the statute because A.N.T. was 18 years old at the time of the incident and thus was not a minor. The court of appeals granted Hirschfelder’s motion, concluding that the statute was intended only to reach the conduct of school employees who had sexual intercourse with registered students who were under 18 years of age.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stephens, J.)

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