Former Teacher Sentenced For Sexually Assaulting Special Needs Student
ALLEGAN, Mich. (March 21, 2014) — Former Plainwell High School teacher Kelly Laker was almost immediately taken into custody after the judge read his sentence on Friday. Laker had been out on bond, but will now spend the next year behind bars.
“I hope and pray that God will provide healing and comfort and peace to everybody that’s been affected by this,” Laker said to the court moments before hearing his sentence.
Laker was arrested last Spring after romantic letters were found in the bedroom of a female special needs student at Plainwell High School.
The student told investigators Laker would kiss her on her forehead. Also, investigators said that he wrote her graduation date on the board, saying that would be the day the two would have sexual intercourse.
“He took advantage of someone who trusted and relied on him and his judgment and his guidance and direction and assistance after the community had certified him as a teacher, and placed him in their school,” said Judge Kevin Cronin.
Laker pleaded guilty to two counts of 4th Degree Sexual Misconduct.
The victim spoke to the judge on Friday, saying Mr. Laker used to pull her into the closet and make her kiss him on the lips. The victim also broke down crying saying that she still has nightmares about the incidents.
The victim’s mother read quotes from the romantic letters Laker wrote, saying that his heart would beat faster when the victim walked into the classroom, and it was like a dream he never wanted to end.
Laker resigned from his position at Plainwell High School.
So far, he owes the victim over $2,000 in restitution.
Judge Cronin said his community has many great teachers, and Laker’s self proclaimed “humilation” is well deserved.
“It just sickens me to have a teacher in front of me on this kind of offense,” said Judge Cronin.
Laker was taken into custody where he will serve a year, with one day credited with time already served.
Laker will then be placed on five years probation, which prohibits the use of any device that connects to the internet. Also, he won’t be able to have contact with any minors, including his seven grandchildren.