MOUNT CLEMENS (WWJ/AP) – A judge sentenced a substitute music teacher to five years in prison for having sex with a 17-year-old student and exchanging lewd cellphone photos and video with two other girls, and she lambasted his many supporters, saying they apparently didn’t know the extent of his misdeeds.
Christopher Skebo was sentenced Thursday to at least five years in prison after pleading no contest to third-degree criminal sexual conduct and other crimes.
Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Mary Chrzanowski said she was perplexed by having received 16 letters supporting the 30-year-old Skebo, including from the parents of students he taught.
“It floors me that I would get a letter from a parent who would want this gentleman – who’s done everything I’ve read – to teach their child,” Chrzanowski told the courtroom. “Is this like a nightmare for me, or is this reality? If you’re out there people, who wrote these glowing letters about this gentleman, there are things you don’t know. There are things that are not public that you do not know.”
Skebo taught music as a substitute at Stevenson High School in Sterling Heights, north of Detroit.
Police said he had sex in his home last February with a 17-year-old. Explicit photos and video also were sent to a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old.
Two of the students attended Stevenson and the third attended Tower High School in Warren. The Professional Educational Services Group, which employs and manages substitute teachers, immediately put Skebo on leave when the allegations surfaced.
“It is frightening to me to suggest to me that there are people out there who think this guy is good,” Chrzanowski said. “He might be good. He might be a generous person. But he’s got some incredibly awful, deviant tendencies. Deviant tendencies that now have affected how many young ladies?”
Skebo had been charged with nine counts but cut a deal with prosecutors, according to The Macomb Daily (http://bit.ly/UaTvqT ).
Rebecca Oster, an assistant Macomb County prosecutor, said the students involved were taunted by classmates.
“Students were calling them liars, because he was well-liked by the students,” Oster told Chrzanowski Thursday. “That’s why he was able to do things like this. He gained the trust and respect of the student body.”
Skebo’s attorney, Richard Marcil, said he was disappointed at the length of the sentence, saying he expected Chrzanowski to sentence his client to three or four years in prison. “It was an understanding that she would go to the mid or low range,” Marcil said.
Marcil, said his client denies any wrongdoing and that two of the girls told Skebo they were 18. He said Skebo is a talented musicians and “not the monster they’re making him out to be.”
The Oakland Press reported Skebo lived with his parents prior to his incarceration.
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