A New Jersey woman blamed her religion for her repeated sexual abuse of several boys:
A high-school teacher who was jailed for performing sex acts on her underage pupils has blamed her strict religious upbringing for her crimes.
Linda Hardan, from Prospect Park in New Jersey, was jailed to three years in prison yesterday after sending scores of sexually explicit text messages to pupils, aged 14 to 16 years-old in 2014, and then engaging in sex acts with them.
Her defense lawyer, Alissa Hascup, said the Muslim woman was driven in part to commit the offences due to her strict religious upbringing, and suggested that she be treated by a therapist as oppose to serving time in prison.
I do not claim to be an expert on Islam, however, based on what I know of the religion it does not condone, encourage, or teach that adult women should have sex with boys. It actually teaches the opposite: that women should have not sexual contact with any male until marriage. As such, I am curious how Hardan explained this contradiction.
The judge appeared to make the argument for her:
‘She had classmates and friends, but somehow, perhaps because of limitations on her dating life, she didn’t find the proper outlet among males of her own age,’ he said.
‘She did not learn how to interact with guys her age,’ the judge continued.
If this were true, how would she know how to interact with teen boys? Being a teacher is not the same as being a friend. Hardan would need some experience in understanding teen boys in order to convince them to engage in sex with her.
More baffling is the judge’s logic that because Hardan had no interaction with men her own age it made sense that she would prey on her students. What if the boys had been tweens? What if they were barely out of kindergarten? Would her lack of interaction with men her own age still make a good excuse?
I have heard the “this is all I know” argument before. Yet I have never seen it used as an excuse for not having sex with adults. “Oh, I was raised not to talk to men my own age, so I will rape these boys instead”? The judge fell for this?
And lest we think Hardan’s actions were harmless:
In one case Hardan, who taught at Manchester Regional High School, sent 40 selfies of herself ‘in varying states of undress’ to a 14-year-old […]
This is a completely tangential question, but given that Hardan appears to wear a hijab I am curious if she kept it on for the photos.
[…] then drove him to a waterfall and performed a sex act on him. The prosecutor said the boy was ‘so upset, so disgusted that he got out of the car and walked home’ two miles away.
Again, I am curious as to what she did that so disgusted the victim to make him walk home.
Another student, 16, was so traumatized by Hardan’s actions that he dropped out of school and never returned, said prosecutor Gyselle Da Silva.
For all the hurt Hardan caused, she will not have to pay much for it.
Hardan intitally accepted a plea deal for a five-year sentence. The judge reduced it to three years, making Hardan eligible for parole in one year. She will face lifetime supervisory probation. That hardly seems a fair punishment given her actions.