A substitute teacher in Ceder Rapids, Iowa has been charged with sexual exploitation after she had a sexual relationship with a student for around 6 months. The teacher, Mary Beth Haglin, is 24 years old while the student involved was 17 years old, Cosmopolitan reports. Haglin appeared on an episode of Dr. Phil Monday to discuss the situation. In her interview, she claimed that she is the victim here, not the student.
The boy attends Washington High School, south of Ceder Rapids, CBS News reports. Haglin told Dr. Phil that the student initiated the relationship, not her. She says he first contacted her over Facebook, and she feels that she was taken advantage of because she was vulnerable at the time due to a fight with her boyfriend—though she’s the one who confided this to the student, and teachers shouldn’t be sharing personal romantic problems with high schoolers. Haglin told Dr. Phil, “From a psychological standpoint and from every other standpoint, I feel like I am the victim.” She also said that the student seemed very intelligent, leading her to be “completely duped by the whole facade,” and that, “In my mind during this whole thing, his age was erased in my mind.”
The two apparently had sex every day, and Haglin sent the boy nude photos, which she claims she felt pressured into. After finding out the boy showed them to his friends, she felt betrayed, but thought she could not leave the relationship because the boy told her, “I will light a match and burn your life down” if she left him.
The affair between Haglin and the boy ended after another student saw them together and reported them. Haglin has pleaded not guilty to the charge, and her trial will begin next month. She has been banned from teaching in any Ceder Rapids Community School District schools and asked to move out of the county until her trial ends. If Haglin is convicted, she could face up to two years and prison and will have to register as a sex offender, Cosmopolitan says.
According to the Des Moines Register, Dr. Phil has offered to help Haglin get counseling and find a new job, as she’s currently working as a stripper.