A former band teacher in Licking County is beginning a jail sentence of at least six months and as long as four years and 10 months. He could have received a maximum of 30 years of incarceration if he'd been convicted of all the allegations against him.
News reports recorded that the 33-year-old defendant was in court for his sentencing today. Joining him was a large group of supporters including his wife. He pleaded guilty to a reduced set of charges, avoiding a trial and assuring him the hope of a future that may include being able to see his son grow.
The one-time educator had been facing an array of sex crime charges. Prosecutors alleged that he had been sexually intimate with or held sexually explicit conversations with at least three former students from August 2010 to November 2013. Authorities claimed he had also sent nude photographs of himself to one former student.
News reports did not provide a full listing of all the charges. What was reported is that the defendant entered a plea of guilty to 13 separate counts, including five for sexual battery, three of sexual imposition, two of disseminating material harmful to juveniles and one of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
During the sentencing hearing, the prosecution asked the court to impose a sentence of up to eight years. The defense described the defendant as a "decent man whose decency lapsed." The attorney's request for a sentence of community control and no prison time was denied.
In addition to the sentence of four years and 10 months, the defendant will be registered as a sexual offender and be required to pay a $2,000 fine. He will not be licensed to teach.
Source: Newark Advocate, "Former Newark teacher to serve over 4 years in prison," Bethany Bruner, Aug. 15, 2014