- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

DRAPER, Utah (AP) - A former Utah English teacher convicted of sexually abusing three students told a parole board member Tuesday that she took advantage of the boys as she dealt with her own low self-esteem.

Ex-Davis High School teacher Brianne Altice, 37, was convicted in 2015 of having sex with three teenage boys, including one relationship that continued while she was out on bail. Altice was sentenced to up to 30 years in prison after she agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. Her minimum sentence was set at 2 years.

The Board of Pardons and Parole will decide over the next month whether to set a release date.

“I had extreme self-esteem issues and they said things that made me feel good about myself,” a tearful Altice said. “I just started to justify it all, making myself believe it was OK.”

One of the boys was 16 and the other two were 17, prosecutors said. In lawsuits filed against the school district, parents said the running joke at the high school was, “Who is Ms. Altice sleeping with now?”

Altice said her involvement with the teenagers came in short succession, and often began as they confided in her about their own problems.

She said Tuesday she’s been in therapy since she was incarcerated in 2015 and recognizes that she was responsible for what happened, not the students, the school or trouble she had in her marriage. Altice agreed to complete sex offender therapy and won’t teach again.

Vice chairman Robert Yeates said official guidelines indicate she should stay in prison until 2020, but the parole board can deviate from that if a majority of members agree.

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