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TACOMA, Wash. -- A former Tacoma math teacher accused of having sexual relations with her students made a plea deal Wednesday that could get her a shorter time behind bars.

Meredith Powell was teaching at Lincoln High School when male students came forward early this year accusing her of sending inappropriate texts and engaging in sexual activity. Wednesday she pleaded guilty to two counts of rape of a child in the third degree and one count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Tacoma Schools representatives said they were grateful she finally admitted to her wrongdoing that ultimately affected students and her colleagues.

Ms. Powell was well-liked by staff and students and they were devastated that she had violated the trust that they had placed with her, said Tacoma Schools General Counsel Shannon McMinimee.

Powell's attorney Wayne Fricke said his client has shown remorse over what happened.

She was going through a difficult time in her personal life and obviously made a lot of bad choices, regrettable choices, said Fricke.

A fourth count of sexual misconduct of a minor was dismissed.

Powell was ordered to be held without bail until sentencing scheduled on August 29.
She could face up to five years in jail, but her attorney says that prosecutors will recommend six months of jail time with three years of treatment.

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