(NJ.com) — When Erica DePalo walks out of the courthouse today having admitted to a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old English student, she will likely leave a parole enrollee.

No jail time. And no community service.

Instead, DePalo will lose her teaching license and she’ll be forced to register under Megan’s Law, under the terms of a plea deal reached in February with prosecutors.

Critics have called the punishment for the former Essex County teacher of the year too lenient and reflective of a double standard that disproportionately penalizes men for similar relationships with students.

A Star-Ledger analysis of 97 cases in New Jersey over the past decade reveals significant disparities: Men are on average sent to jail in more cases and receive longer sentences.

The data about 72 men and 25 women also shows:

Note: See the WND story that started it all:

The big list: Female teachers with students

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