SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – A former Thurston High School teacher and coach who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a student will spend more than seven years behind bars.
Lisa DeFluri, 31, was sentenced in Lane County Circuit Court Thursday after pleading guilty to 11 counts of second-degree sexual abuse. The crimes took place between July and December 2020. According to authorities, the victim in the case is under the age of 18.
During a sentencing hearing Thursday, attorneys for both parties called witnesses to testify about which sentence would best serve the community.
Prosecutors argued DeFluri needed to spend 10 years behind bars in order ensure she could not contact the victim again. Katherine Green, prosecutor for the state, said she might have sought a more lenient sentence, but did not because DeFluri violated a court order to stay away from the victim. Green said DeFluri secretly met with the victim in multiple locations and the two communicated on smartphones while DeFluri was on pre-trial release.
Anna Sammons, DeFluri’s attorney, argued for a two-year sentence, and brought in a psychological expert to testify that DeFluri had a lower risk of reoffending based on a mental health evaluation.
“Similar cases all over Oregon have all resolved with either probationary sentences or prison terms totaling four years or less,” Sammons said.
However, Judge Charles Carlson handed down a sentence that was somewhere in the middle. The seven-year sentence will be followed by post-prison supervision, and DeFluri will have to register as a sex offender for life.