What could lead a 27-year-old married teacher with a young son to have a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student? Jennifer Caswell, known as Jennifer Sexton before her recent divorce, speaks out for the first time since the former middle school teacher from Hollis, Oklahoma, was charged with three counts of second-degree rape.
Caswell, who taught sixth, seventh and eighth grade, recalls when the student/teacher relationship became inappropriate. "He was flirty. I should have put a stop to it then, and I didn't," she says. "I wasn't used to getting attention. It felt nice to have someone to compliment me and things like that, because I felt very unwanted."
She tells Dr. Phil that she felt vulnerable during her seven-year marriage. "I never got complimented. Never even got a birthday present, Christmas present, for Valentine's Day, nothing. I felt really bad about myself," she says, fighting tears. "I never thought I'd be in this situation. I'm not a monster and I'm not a predator. I made a stupid decision."
Dr. Phil asks, "Would you say the marriage was not a good marriage?"
Caswell explains, "We didn't fight, but that's only because we didn't talk. It was like living with a roommate ... He would come home. He would talk on the phone to his friends for an hour or two, and then he would go to the playroom and play his Xbox until 1 or 2 in the morning."
Dr. Phil probes, "Was he affectionate with you physically?"
"No, we never held hands or cuddled on the couch or anything like that,” Caswell says. “I wanted that. I mean, I need that and I wasn't getting it there."
She claims her former student reacted to her quite differently. "He would always tell me how beautiful I was and how I was a good person on the inside," says Caswell about the teen, whom she describes as "funny" and "mature."
Need Dr. Phil's help in your life? Share your story here.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place