Meridian teacher headed to prison for having sex with student

Ashley Jo Beach was ordered to serve at least four years in prison for lewd conduct with a middle school student.


by Nishi Gupta
Idaho's NewsChannel 7


Posted on December 29, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 30 at 6:01 PM


MERIDIAN -- A Meridian school teacher who admitted to having sex with a 13-year-old boy was sentenced to 20 years in prison today.

Ashley Jo Beach sobbed as the Ada County judge spelled out her future behind bars.  She must serve at least four years behind bars before she is eligible for parole.

In court, Beach did not make any contact with the teen, who was there with his family.

She did read a statement of apology to the victim's family and her husband, and called it a train wreck that she could not stop.

“I failed to be the moral and responsible adult I should've been," Ashley Beach said in court.

Her troubles began on Sept. 17 when officers found her lying in the bushes with a teenage boy near his Meridian home.

She admitted later to having a sexual relationship with him for months, and the two had even been sending inappropriate photos to each others cell phones.

"I only wish I could back and redo those two months of my life. If only I could right my wrongs and spare everyone the pain of my horrific choices," Beach said.

Even the judge called it bizarre, and said her otherwise positive reputation was tarnished with the severity of the crime.
"You had it all in some respects and you cashed that in. You cashed in your exemplary life and your career. You cashed in your family: your husband and your children," Judge Ronald Wilper said.
Prosecutors say Beach was the aggressor, creating situations for her and the victim to be alone.
"She had encouraged him to come to her home, she took him in a car, privately to a different setting where she took him to her classroom when  class was out of session- she would lock the door. She would invite him to babysit, to mow her lawn," Ada County Prosecutor Jean Fisher said.
"I crossed the line with my caring in the most inappropriate way," Beach said. "I truly don't recognize this person and I'm actually so thankful I was caught."

Beach is required to pay $180 in restitution for the victim's counseling.

Beach is required to register as a sex offender upon her release from prison.

She taught math and science at Meridian Middle School.  She has since lost her job at the Meridian School District.

She is married and has three children.  Tuesday is Beach's 38th birthday.