CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Chesterfield judge has accepted the plea deal made between prosecutors and a former teacher and volleyball coach who had been charged with sex crimes against a minor.
During a court appearance Wednesday morning, 30-year-old Tara Drooker pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of sexual battery, and three misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She was sentenced to four years in prison, but the entirety of it was suspended by the judge.
Drooker was arrested last August, and charged with sexually assaulting a student at Richmond Christian School in 2017.
But an expert report submitted to the court concluded Drooker’s years-long relationship with that former student — who is niner years Drooker’s junior— was an anomaly, and that Drooker is a very low risk to reoffend.
Judge Lynn Brice weighed favorably the fact that Drooker immediately took responsibility for her crimes and never attempted to minimize or blame anyone else.
The Chesterfield commonwealth’s attorney noted the victim in this case continued the relationship with Drooker into adulthood. And that young woman is facing similar charges herself in another case.
Prosecutors told the judge the victim and her mother do not feel Drooker is a pedophile, and they did not want her to be a convicted felon, instead they wanted this case to be settled.
Drooker is now on probation, but she must continue counseling, have no unsupervised contact with any minors, and register as a sex offender.