Convicted sexual predator begs to be castrated instead of going to prison
A teacher convicted of sexually abusing his students begged a judge to punish him with castration instead of prison time.
Mark Lua, 32, made the bizarre plea on Wednesday in Pensacola, Florida.
He asked the judge to remove his testicles instead of send him to prison, but he was sentenced to 12 years behind bars despite the request.
‘My actions were despicable. I do believe that punishment is necessary, and I am requesting chemical castration not only as a punishment but as an act of solidarity to show how sorry I am,’ Lua told judge Thomas Dannheisser.
‘If your honor is so inclined, I am even willing to undergo physical castration if that way I can stay home and raise my daughter,’ he added.
Lua is a former English teacher at Booker T Washington High School in Pensacola. He pleaded guilty to having sex with an underage girl and sexually assaulting an 18-year-old former student.
He is also accused of coercing a third student to send him a sexually graphic video.
Lua pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual activity with a minor and promoting a sexual performance by a child last year. During the trial, prosecutor Erin Ambrose branded Lua a sexual predator who sought out and abused vulnerable girls.
‘He seemed to seek out girls that came from unstable or troubled homes. He manipulated them, and he betrayed them because he was a teacher,’ Ambrose said.
Lua tried to elicit sympathy from the court during his sentencing hearing by claiming to suffer from neurobribromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors, which he said caused panic attacks during the incidents of sexual abuse.
‘If I’m with my family or when I might sit down and read a book, I think about the tumors, and I think, “Oh my God, this might be my last day on Earth,”‘ he said.
However Ambrose disregarded Lua’s claims and said his alleged medical condition seemed to have nothing to do with his crimes. ‘This condition did not seem to debilitate him while he was trolling the halls, looking for students to have sex with,’ the prosecutor said.
Lua was sentenced to 12 years in prison followed by 15 years of probation. He will likely have to register as a sex offender upon his release.