SAN DIEGO - A high school special-education teacher who admitted having sex with one of her former students -- and is pregnant with his baby -- was sentenced Wednesday to a year in jail but will be released early to deliver and care for the child.
IMAGES: Female teachers accused of sex with students
Kelly McKenzy Watson, 34, was also placed on three years felony probation, during which she is not allowed to work with minors, and was ordered to undergo counseling.
Judge Laura Halgren said Watson -- who is due April 5 -- did not have to register as a sex offender.
Attorneys said the unborn child's father -- who turns 18 in April -- is in love with Watson and plans to be part of the child's life despite a no-contact order put in place by the judge. Halgren said the victim could be present for the birth.
Watson was told she could not have direct contact with the teen for five years and any contact pertaining to the pregnancy and child will have to be through a third party.
Watson's defense attorney felt that the sentence given was "fair" and told the court that Watson and the teen are "happy about the baby."
The defendant pleaded guilty in November to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. According to a psychological evaluation, Watson is not sexually promiscuous but was naive and immature when she got involved with the then-16-year-old boy.
Halgren said the relationship between defendant and victim "was not an ideal parenting situation," but said Watson was not a danger to re-offend. The judge said Watson "violated the public's trust" when she had sex with a former student.
Watson, who was arrested last Aug. 9, met the boy when he was a student in her class at the New Haven residential school in Vista, said Lt. Anastasia Smith of the San Diego Police Department.
The lieutenant said Watson was the boy's teacher at New Haven for several semesters from September 2010 until August 2011. New Haven works with troubled and at-risk teens.
San Diego police sex crimes detectives received a tip last July 30 about inappropriate conduct between Watson and the former student and later determined she had a dating relationship with him several months earlier, Smith said.
Deputy District Attorney Mary-Ellen Barrett said the victim was released from the residential facility in January 2012 and he and Watson were together two weeks later.
Watson had been a special-education teacher for seven years and hopes to work in adult education someday, according to defense attorney David R. Cohn.
He said Watson has been living with family members in Bakersfield and working in accounting.
Psychologist Dr. Michael Mantell told 10News sexual relationships between teachers and students do not just happen.
"Sexual predators, sex addicts… I call them people who misuse their power," he said. "Often times, people go into these professions – teaching, coaching – because they have the best selection process available."
He said there are usually several issues with the adults in a position of power who do this.
"Arrested sexual development, socially isolated, negative self-image, history of abuse, are looking for access… so when you take that cocktail of those things, that's going to blow up," said Mantell.