Tina Maria Sumner, 47, will be sentenced October 25, after admitting to victim tampering and statutory rape

By Jeff Truesdell
August 12, 2019 02:19 PM
Tina Marie Sumner
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

A former elementary-school nurse who tried to hush a teen she sexually abused by offering him $2,000 to pay off his car loan has admitted her guilt.

After her September 2017 arrest in Jefferson County, Missouri, 47-year-old Tina Maria Sumner was told not to have any contact with the victim or his family, reports the Jefferson County Leader and TV station KSDK.

Sumner admitted nothing at the time and was released without being charged after the teen reported on August 30, 2017, that he’d had sex with the teacher eight times since 2015 in locations that included his home, her home, and a Fox School District building, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

But three months later, according to a court record reviewed by the newspaper, the boy’s mother called Arnold police for an update and told them Sumner had sent her son a $2,000 check to pay off his car loan in exchange for dropping his allegations.

The mother gave authorities a copy of the check, according to a probable cause affidavit, reports the Leader. Call logs also showed Sumner and the victim had been in contact by phone after her arrest.

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In March, the former school nurse was charged with victim tampering and having sex with a student under the age of 16, according to KSDK.

In a plea agreement Friday, Sumner pleaded guilty to one count of victim tampering and two counts of statutory rape and faces a seven-year prison term when she is sentenced, reports the Post-Dispatch.

The terms require her to register as a sex offender, her defense attorney Mark Hammer told the newspaper. But rather than immediately impose the seven-year sentence, the agreement recommends Sumner for a 120-day sex-offender program while in custody, after which she could be evaluated and return to face a judge, who could keep her jailed or release her on probation for the sex offenses.

A call by PEOPLE to the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office was not immediately returned.

At the time of her arrest, Sumner already had resigned from the district, Fox C-6 communications coordinator Sam Rayburn told the Leader. She had worked for the district from 1999 to 2017, and quit after the 2016-2017 school year, he said.

Her formal sentencing is scheduled for October 25.

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