RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — A former eighth-grade teacher in Dardanelle was given six years probation for having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy last year.
Chrystal Estella Vega, 40, pleaded no contest to first-degree sexual assault last month in Pope County Circuit Court.
As part of her probation, Vega must complete 20 hours of community service and pay more than $2,500 in fines and court fees. She'll also have to register as a sex offender.
If she violates her probation, Vega faces up to 30 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
A no-contact order issued by Judge William Pearson bars Vega from contacting the boy or his family. She also can't attend any athletic or school-sponsored event at Dardanelle High School until June 2020.
The order doesn't stop Vega from entering the district's campuses to pick up or drop off her children.
In September 2018, the boy told Russellville police he and Vega had sex in a car at a local park, according to court documents.
Investigators later obtained security footage that recorded Vega's car at the park -- matching the boy's statements about when she was there.
Vega denied having sex with the boy but said they had a texting relationship, adding that some of their messages "had crossed the line," according to court documents.
The Dardanelle School District fired Vega last October. She taught business and vocation students, as well as eighth-grade English, according to Dardanelle Superintendent John Thompson.
No contest pleas allow defendants to avoid admitting guilt while accepting a prosecutor’s recommended sentence in exchange for not contesting the charge.