Teacher who raped student gets 25 to life

Teacher who raped student gets 25 to life
Jennifer Rice is seen during her sentencing hearing in Pierce County Superior Court on Friday, July 24, 2009.
TACOMA, Wash. -- A former elementary school teacher who raped a 10-year-old student and his 15-year-old brother was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in prison.

Jennifer Rice sobbed silently through much of the hearing before apologizing to the court.

"I'm desperately sorry for what I've done. I have acted without thinking," she said while wearing shackles and standing before the judge. "My behavior was careless. And I'm deeply ashamed for the part I've played in this devastating crime."

Rice was found guilty in April of molestation, kidnapping and two counts of child rape.

In charging documents filed after her arrest, prosecutors said Rice repeatedly raped a 10-year-old boy who was a student at McKinley Elementary School, where she was working as a contract teacher.

On August 11, 2007, Rice allegedly picked the boy up at his home and drove him to a rest stop near Enumclaw and raped him before driving him back to his uncle's house.

Court documents indicate that the two had intercourse several times on previous occasions, including once in the boy's home.

Rice was also charged with raping the boy's 15-year-old brother in July of 2007.

Rice's father and husband pleaded for leniency, but Pierce County Superior Court Judge D. Gary Steiner called Rice's actions a "terrible violation of trust" and imposed the recommended 25-years-to-life sentence.

Rice said she would participate in counseling while in prison, and her lawyer said he planned to appeal the sentence.