Former teacher gets 8 years in exploitation case

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) -- A former Sullivan East High School teacher has entered a "best interest" plea to charges of sexually exploiting a minor.

The Kingsport Times-News reported the Alford plea was entered Monday in Sullivan County Circuit Court. The plea agreement gives 37-year-old Sherri Lynn Baffa an 8-year prison term to be served at 100 percent.

In an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the state has sufficient evidence for a conviction.

Court records state Baffa's former husband found a camera containing explicit photos of her and a 16-year-old, dated February 2007. He reported the discovery to the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.

Baffa turned herself in after she was indicted in August 2011. She was suspended from teaching algebra and geometry and later resigned.

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