High school teacher who had sex with students sentenced

TACOMA, Wash. -- A former Pierce County high school teacher convicted last month of having sex with two students may spend just six months behind bars.

Meredith Powell was a math teacher at Tacoma's Lincoln High School when she engaged in sexual activity with two students and sent explicit text messages to a third boy, according to prosecutors.

Powell pled guilty last month to two counts of third degree rape of a child and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

Prosecutors say in January a male high school student skipped a school assembly and went to Powell's classroom, where the two kissed and "engaged in sexual activity." A few days later, Powell again engaged in sexual activity with another boy inside her classroom. That same month, prosecutors say Powell exchanged a number of sexual text messages with a third student.

Powell was caught after she sent a letter to the girlfriend of one of her victims apologizing for the "promiscuous" and "unprofessional" comments and texts she had sent. The girlfriend showed the letter to school administrators and Powell was arrested that week.

On Friday she was sentenced to 60 months in prison, but was granted a special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative, which means she will spend just six months in county jail as long as she complies with court ordered sex offender treatment, registers as a sex offender and stays away from her victims.

If she breaks any of those rules, Powell will have to serve the remainder of her sentence.