A high school teacher in North Carolina married her former student to allegedly avoid jail time for statutory rape. 42-year-old Leah Gayle Shipman was arrested in 2009 on charges of sexual offense with a student, statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a student who was just 15 years old.

Court records show that in 2011, Shipman divorced her husband of 19 years, and days later married 17-year-old Johnnie Ison. The boy’s mother signed documents allowing him to marry Shipman since he was still a minor.

The marriage prevents prosecutors from forcing Ison to testify

against the former teacher. As a result, prosecutors dropped the case against Shipman.

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Dana Perino said on The Five, “It’s child pedophilia. Just because it’s a boy, he was just as much a victim as any girl would be.”

The marriage became publicized recently because Shipman pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of resisting arrest last month.

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