Crime

Former Fayette educator who raped student fights for parole, denies she needs more treatment

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A sexual assault evidence kit contains forensic evidence gathered from a victim's body during an intrusive, hours-long examination. Testing kits can find DNA evidence used to identify rapists, boost prosecutions or exonerate the falsely accused.
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A sexual assault evidence kit contains forensic evidence gathered from a victim's body during an intrusive, hours-long examination. Testing kits can find DNA evidence used to identify rapists, boost prosecutions or exonerate the falsely accused.

A former Fayette County educator who pleaded guilty to raping a juvenile student last year claims she should be eligible for parole, but the state’s Department of Corrections says she has not fulfilled treatment requirements for an early release.

Lindsey Banta Jarvis is currently serving an 18-month prison sentence after she pleaded guilty to third-degree rape charges in Fayette and Woodford counties. The victim was a 15-year-old student.

Jarvis wanted out of prison just a little more than three months after she began serving her prison sentence in December.

She is suing the state’s Justice & Public Safety Cabinet, Department of Corrections and attorney general. She said she was “made to understand” she would be eligible quickly for parole because she voluntarily completed a sex offender treatment program prior to her incarceration, according to court documents.

The state’s Department of Corrections asked a judge to throw out the lawsuit, alleging that because Jarvis voluntarily completed most of the program before she was a registered sex offender, it should not count.

Furthermore, the Department of Corrections said that the program Jarvis completed does not meet its minimum requirements. Jarvis completed a roughly 16-month program in November that included 68 90-minute group sessions, according to court documents. The state requires a minimum of 80 90-minute group sessions over 24 months, more than seven months longer than Jarvis’ voluntary treatment.

In her lawsuit, Jarvis’s attorney said she “should not be obligated and required to complete the same, or a very similar sex offender treatment program now being mandated by the Department of Corrections.”

Jarvis claims that the treatment program she completed had been previously authorized and approved by the state’s Department of Corrections. In October, a month before the completion of her treatment, Jarvis was ordered to do a sex offender risk assessment and she was determined to be a low risk for sexual recidivism, according to court documents.

“(Jarvis) has now been informed by the Department of Corrections that she would not be eligible for parole consideration; she would not be eligible for good time credit on her prison sentences; and, she would not be released from custody until she completed a 24-month sex offender treatment program administered and provided by the Department of Corrections,” Jarvis’s attorney said in court records.

Jarvis, who turns 29 years old Sunday, was a social studies teacher at Woodford County Middle School before she became a para-educator for Fayette County Schools.

The investigation began in August 2016 when a Versailles police officer found Jarvis and the boy, then 15, in a car at 1:17 a.m. at a Woodford County park.

The patrol officer learned the boy had sneaked out of his home to meet Jarvis, who was married. Further investigation revealed the two had become friends, began texting and then started a sexual relationship.

The two would meet in parks, taking precautions that no one would see them together, court records said. On three occasions, Jarvis drove the boy to her Lexington home, where they would have sex.

Jarvis was arrested in July 2017 and resigned from her position with Fayette County Public Schools.

She pleaded guilty to third-degree rape in Fayette County and the same charge, along with third-degree sodomy, in Woodford County. The charges were ordered to run concurrently for a total 18-month sentence. The maximum penalty for third-degree rape and third-degree sodomy is one to five years in prison.

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