Julie Amero, the substitute teacher facing 40 years behind bars for exposing a seventh-grade class to Internet pornography, has been given a reprieve before her sentence is handed down.
Initially set for early March, sentencing will now take place on 29 March, giving Amero more time to bolster her defense team.
In January, Amero was found guilty on four counts of risk of injury to a minor, which carries a possible 40-year jail term.
The case has raised a storm of protest, with IT experts contending the Amero is a victim of a poorly-protected and maintained school PC.
The incident, where seventh-grade learners had sight of pornographic images, took place in October 2004. It was later determined that the computer was inadequately protected, having been updated with security software in August 2004.
Meanwhile, the school district's Internet filtering software was also out of date, because Symantec, creator of the school's WebNOT computer filter, failed to send a licensing certificate to activate the software's updates feature.
"A bad spyware infestation can splatter a machine full of porn pop-ups and it’s a bit unnerving to think that a teacher could get hard prison time for something that was likely to have been completely innocent," wrote Alexander Eckelberry, president of Sunbelt Software, on the anti-spyware vendor's blog.
This case could be similar to one in 2002, where a network adminstrator was convicted on a felony charge and served 16 months of his sentence before it was overturned when it was shown he was the victim of malware.