Shannon Fosgett School Sex Abuse

Shannon Fosgett sex abuse case highlights societal attitude against male victims

Shannon Fosgett is facing a criminal trial after she pleaded not guilty to eight counts of child molestation. The former Murrieta High School earth sciences teacher is accused of engaging in sexual relations with one of her 16-year-old male students.

Now, as Shannon Fosgett’s trial approaches, the young teenager and his family are speaking out. They have concerns that the former teacher’s sentencing will be light because she is a woman and the victim is a boy. They point to two recent child molestation cases as evidence.

In 2013, Laura Whitehurst (of Redlands) faced 41 felony counts of child molestation and 29 years in prison, but entered into a plea agreement and was sentenced to one year in prison and five years’ probation. She was released after six months. One of the teenage boys she molested, who wound up impregnating her and becoming a father at age 16, filed a lawsuit against the school district for negligence.

Another female teacher, Summer Hansen of Centennial High School in Corona, was charged with 16 felony counts of child molestation after having sexual relations with five of her male students. She admitted to the crimes and made a tearful apology in court, and received a relatively light three-year prison sentence. The families of the victims were horrified.

The teenage boy’s family doesn’t want to go through the same situation. The youngster told NBC4 Television that he has already endured enough emotional trauma at the hands of Shannon Fosgett and wants to see her put away where she can’t harm other children. The teenage boy also stated that he felt “trapped and afraid” during his year-long relationship with Shannon Fosgett.

“She’d tell me she’d kill me if I told anybody or if I contacted anybody, so I always felt pressured when I was in her presence or at the school,” the youngster stated.

Even after the young teenager confessed the illicit relationship to police, the emotional agony didn’t stop. His male schoolmates would high-five him and congratulate him for something which had caused him shame and horror.

“Kids would come up to me and give me high-fives,” the teenager remembers. “I didn’t even know kids and they’d try to form a camaraderie around it. Like I did something that was cool.”

The victims says he was often reduced to tears in front of his mother.

“My son, he held me and cried and he said ‘Mom, they see me as a man, but I’m just a boy inside,” stated the victim’s mother.

This case highlights the long term emotional damage and psychological trauma which minors endure when they are sexually abused by adults, especially once-trusted adults in positions of authority, like teachers. Teachers often use their vaunted position as mentors and educators to seduce children into illicit relationships. While the majority of sex offenders are male, there are numerous female predators like Shannon Fosgett who take advantage of male students in their care. Female teachers often receive lighter sentences than men, an insult to the victims.

If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, the teacher sex abuse attorneys at the law firm of Estey Bomberger can help. We provide aggressive legal representation to get the justice you deserve. We specialize in child sex abuse cases and have been successfully winning record settlements and verdicts for over 20 years. Contact us at 1.800.925.0723 or go to