GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Jamila Williams, a former math teacher at University Prep Academy, a mother, and a fiance, fought back tears as she read a handwritten statement in court asking for forgiveness.
“Someone once asked me, Am I only sorry because I got caught? No. I am actually sorry for the pain and hurt that I have caused the many people who are affected by my actions,” said Williams.
Despite her pleas, the judge handed down an 8 to 15 year sentence and the victims attorney, Gloria Allred, said the focus now shifts to the school, hinting at a possible lawsuit in the future.
Coming into the court today, Jamila Love Williams had already entered a guilty plea to four counts of criminal sexual conduct, saving herself a trial. Four students of Williams at University Prep Academy in Grand Rapids came forward saying they were victims of sex crimes.
Robin Cross, the mother of one victims said, “No child deserves to be a victim of this by anybody. She took advantage of my son at school, on his lunch break, in her classroom.”
The judge said the crimes took place at restaurants, the victim’s homes, even Williams’ car while her children were present.
“I don’t feel sorry for you,” Judge Paul Sullivan said during sentencing. “You brought this on yourself and you are smart enough to know.”
“I’m glad that Jamila is finally behind bars where she belongs,” said Cross. “And again, our boys are very brave.”
After the sentencing, high profile attorney Gloria Allred spoke about the next step in getting justice for the families.
“University Prep Academy needs to be held accountable for the harm inflicted upon these boys,” she said. “In some cases the schools decide that they would like to spend money fighting victims and spend money on lawyers rather than doing the right thing by parents and children.”
No paperwork has been filed to start the lawsuit. Allred said she is hopeful a settlement could be reached outside of a courtroom.