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Tallahassee Criminal Attorney > Blog > Criminal > Former Physical Education Teacher Found Guilty of Child Sex Abuse Charges

Former Physical Education Teacher Found Guilty of Child Sex Abuse Charges


A former Volusia County high school physical education teacher was recently sentenced to 21 years behind bars in May after pleading guilty to child sexual abuse charges. The judge sentenced the 44-year-old teacher, a former employee at Atlanta High School and Mainland High School, to 21 years in prison, followed by 30 years of probation. He will be required to register as a sexual predator for the rest of his life.

The teacher was accused of having inappropriate relationships with two students ages 15 and 17 in separate incidents. Both of the victims appeared in court to offer victim impact statements. One attended in person, while the other delivered their victim impact statement over Zoom.

One victim described him as a “master manipulator” who “does whatever he can to make you feel special and seen and heard.”

The defendant also read a statement in court during which he apologized to the victims, their families, and his own family. He told the judge that his children were forced to change their last names to dissociate themselves from him.

Analyzing his defense 

In this case, the defendant’s attorneys tried to play up the fact that the defendant suffers from bipolar disorder. He pleaded guilty to the charges but offered his mental struggles as an excuse for his behavior. The judge did not buy it. The judge said that although his mental illness may have made things worse, it wasn’t the source or cause of his actions. Indeed, it’s very difficult to raise an insanity defense to a sex crime. In fact, it’s very difficult to raise an insanity defense at all. More often than not, mental health issues appear in court as a way to reduce a defendant’s sentence rather than eliminate it.

The state essentially accused the defendant of “grooming” his victims. His victims were not prepubescent nor did he force them to have sex with him. However, the judge made note of the fact that the defendant manipulated his victims and eventually began touching them in sexual ways.

The defendant received multiple written reprimands regarding his conduct toward students. The defendant was initially arrested in February 2023. He was arrested again in May 2024 when another victim came forward.

One mother said she pulled her daughter out of school because of the defendant’s conduct. She stated that the defendant began calling her pet names and then it escalated to him attempting to touch her. Florida police received reports from 30 different people after the teacher’s initial arrest. Four claimed that they were victimized by him.

Talk to a Tallahassee Criminal Defense Lawyer Today 

Luke Newman, P.A. represents the interests of those who have been charged with serious crimes in the Tallahassee area. Call our Tallahassee criminal defense lawyers today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.

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