Watsonville Teacher Sex Defendant Unable To Defend Herself

SANTA CRUZ (AP) — The lawyer for a Santa Cruz area teacher charged with having sex with a teen student says severe car accident injuries have left her unable to defend herself.

Defense attorney Joseph Cisneros told a Santa Cruz judge on Thursday that 37-year-old Tanya Thienngern was in a coma for about six weeks after a taxi struck her in San Francisco and she is now in rehabilitation.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that Thienngern, who taught at Pajaro Valley High School in Watsonville, was arrested in June on child sex charges involving alleged sexual rendezvous with a 17-year-old male student.

Because of the severe injuries in a September cab accident, Cisneros wants the charges dismissed. A dismissal hearing is set for Jan. 19.

Prosecutor Andrew Isaac says he is awaiting medical reports before considering his position.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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