IONIA (WWJ/AP) – A 59-year-old former Michigan teacher who authorities say had a sexual relationship with a then-16-year-old student in 2010 has been sentenced to nine months behind bars.
Ex-Saranac High School teacher Krag Sanford was sentenced Tuesday in Ionia Circuit Court. He’ll also serve two years of probation.
The Kent County man was arrested in April 2012 after authorities said he had a sexual relationship with the teen.
Police said an investigation revealed Sanford and the student had met for sex at his apartment at Byron Lakes Apartments in Byron Township. Sanford allegedly told police the sexual relationship had been going on for a while.
A letter presented earlier in court says he impregnated the teen this year. The teen wrote the letter with hopes that the judge would lift bond conditions that prevented her from seeing Sanford, but the judge refused.
Sanford pleaded no contest in May 2012 to distributing sexually explicit material to a minor in a deal with prosecutors.
He also faces sentencing Aug. 14 in a related case in Kent County, where he pleaded no contest to accosting a child for immoral purposes. A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.
Defense attorney Bruce Lincoln described what happened as “a love story,” saying Sanford’s behavior was human nature.
The victim, who is now about 23 weeks pregnant with his child, said she wants to raise a family with Sanford.
“I realize that this is the life that I want,” the victim, now 18, wrote in a letter to the court. “I want to marry him.”
The victim’s mother wrote in a letter she believes her daughter was not forced into a relationship and Sanford is a “very positive and supportive person” in her daughter’s life, Mlive.com reported. She said they should be able to live their lives together, adding that Sanford “cannot wait to be a stay-at-home dad.”
Sanford resigned from his position with the school in December 2010, when police say the relationship began.
According to the Grand Rapids Press, Standford was able to substitute teach up until April 9 of this year. His last assignment was at Wyoming Schools’ Jackson Park Intermediate School.
As part of the plea deal, Sanford must relinquish his teaching certificate and register as a sex offender on the state’s registry.
Sanford currently is not allowed to have communication with the victim.
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