Married Teacher Honored On 'GMA' Admits To Having Sex With Student 30 Times

By Jason Hall

January 25, 2024

Photo: Bryant Police Department

A married former Arkansas teacher who was previously surprised by her students on 'Good Morning America' pleaded guilty to having sex with a 17-year-old high school student up to 30 times.

Heather Hare, 33, of Conway, faces life in prison in relation to transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of unlawful sexual activity after pleading guilty before United States District Judge Lee P. Rudofsky on Monday (January 22), according to a United States Attorney's Office Eastern District of Arkansas press release. The former teacher, who went viral in 2020 after her students made a surprise goodbye video after her economics class discontinued due to distance learning protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, was arrested in April 2023 after the student, identified only as 'J.R.' notified authorities of the repeated abuse, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

The boy said he met Hare on the first day of his senior year at Bryant High School in fall 2021 and underwent "one-on-one counseling sessions" with Hare who eventually gave "him her personal phone number" and started "primarily communicating with him through Instagram and Snapchat," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ray White said during the court hearing.

“At one point, Ms. Hare told J.R. that she had a dream of them having sex,” White said. “The minor victim and Hare had sex approximately 20 to 30 times throughout the 2021-2022 school term, including multiple times at her Conway residence, in her vehicle, and in her classroom and parking lots at Bryant High School.”

One of the sexual encounters took place when Hare took the boy and three female students on a 2022 school trip to a national LifeSmarts competition in Washington, D.C., which was tied to her Family Consumer Sciences course, in April 2022.

“J.R. advised they planned to have sex on the trip and not have to worry about being caught,” White said. “Hare did come to his hotel room and the two engaged in sex.”

Hare admitted that the detailed accusations were "100% accurate" while breaking down in court.

“Yes, sir,” she replied while sobbing before confirming her "guilty" plea.

United States District Judge Lee P. Rudofsky refused to rule on whether he has accepted Hare's plea for the federal transportation of a minor charge, which seeks 13 years in prison as part of the deal, and will announce his decision at a yet to be scheduled sentence hearing. Hare would have the option to withdraw her guilty plea and take the case to trial if Rudofsky rejects her plea deal, at which point the case could result in a life sentence.

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