GRAND RAPIDS (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 is expected to keep getting his pension from the state.
The state Department of Education says Krag Sanford’s annual pension payment is about $21,000. Sanford will receive retiree health coverage as well, according to the Department of Education.
The ex-Saranac High School teacher was sentenced Tuesday to six months behind bars and four years probation in Kent County. The jail time will run at the same time as a nine month sentence in Ionia County, where he’ll also serve two years 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 Ionia County Prosecutors, one day after pleading no contest to accosting a child for immoral purposes in Kent County.
In a letter to the court, the now 18-year-old Amy Hendrick said she wants to raise a family with Sanford.
“I realize that this is the life that I want. I want to marry him,” the letter read.
Hendrick, who is due to give birth to Sanford’s son in December, told the Grand Rapids Press their relationship was a “mutual thing,” saying “nobody was forced into anything.”
“I just want people to know that he’s a really good person,” Hendrick told the Grand Rapids Press. “He just fell in love with somebody younger… we’re both really happy.”
Hendrick, who graduated from school in February, said Sanford was her Freshman English teacher. She told the Grand Rapids Press that they didn’t get along at first and she failed his class. She said their relationship wasn’t sexual while he was teaching and only developed after they began communicating as friends afterward.
Hendrick’s mother wrote in a letter to the court that Sanford is a “very positive and supportive person” in her daughter’s life, adding that he “cannot wait to be a stay-at-home dad.”
A Kent County judge called the relationship an “odd arrangement,” given the couple’s age difference, but said he wouldn’t prevent contact.
Sanford and Hendrick filed for a marriage license in Kent County in March. Hendrick, who was barred from contact with Sanford after charges surfaced in April, said she can’t wait to be reunited with him.
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.
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