Former Tacoma teacher sentenced to sex-offender treatment, home detention

Staff writerFebruary 25, 2014 

Keshia Shaw appears Tuesday in court.

DEBBIE CAFAZZO — Staff writer

A former Tacoma middle school teacher was sentenced Tuesday to receive sex offender treatment instead of prison time after pleading guilty to raping one of her students.

Keshia Shaw, 34, was charged in 2012 with five counts of rape of a child in the second degree. The former teacher at Gray Middle School pleaded guilty to two of the charges in October and has been in the Pierce County Jail since then.

Pierce County Superior Court documents show she admitted to having sex with a boy twice between April 2007 and December 2008. The boy, who was 12 at the time of the earliest incidents, didn't report them until 2012 after he heard a church sermon about sexual abuse.

Superior Court Judge John McCarthy on Tuesday ordered Shaw to complete two more months in home detention with an electronic monitoring device and to begin sex-offender treatment. She must also register as a sex offender.

The standard sentencing range for her crimes is between eight years and just over 11 years in prison. Instead, McCarthy followed an agreement reached between prosecutors and Shaw's attorneys for the alternative sentencing that requires Shaw to undergo treatment and to submit to regular polygraphs and check-ins with the court.

Her treatment progress will be monitored for five years, but her behavior will be monitored for life.

Shaw spoke briefly to the court Tuesday, saying she accepted responsibility, was anxious to begin sex offender treatment and was "ready, willing and able to complete the program."

McCarthy told Shaw: "You violated that trust required of teachers. And you did so for your own sexual gratification."

Prosecutor Bryce Nelson said that Shaw's victim, who is now 18, did not want to testify in a public trial but "wanted the case to be resolved."

"I think a priority for him is maintaining his anonymity, " Nelson told the judge.

Nelson noted that the victim's mother did not support the alternative sentence for Shaw.

One factor McCarthy considered was Shaw's need for medical treatment. Her attorneys submitted a statement from her physician stating her need for specialized treatment for multiple sclerosis and other conditions.

Shaw's MS treatment involves infusions that can be administered only at the University of Washington in Seattle, according to medical records.

Another of Shaw's conditions involves the endocrine system and can result in excess facial hair growth without proper treatment, according to court records. Shaw's attorneys said in court documents that jail officials incorrectly administered her medication.

Tacoma Public Schools fired Shaw in 2012, and Superintendent Carla Santorno filed an official complaint with state education officials at the Office of Professional Practices.

Office Director Catherine Slagle said her office has been waiting for the conclusion of Shaw's legal proceedings. Based on the charges, Slagle said she will likely work to revoke Shaw's teaching certificate.

Debbie Cafazzo: 253-597-8635

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