GRAND HAVEN, Mich. - A former West Ottawa coach has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th degree with a minor.
Matthew Powell was sentenced Monday morning in Grand Haven. Powell was accused of kissing and touching a 16-year-old female student who was involved with the wrestling team, which he coached. Authorities said the incident happened sometime between January 1 and March 3 of 2015.
He pleaded 'no contest' to the 4th degree CSC charge in exchange for charges of CSC, 2nd and CSC, 3rd being dropped.
Before Ottawa County circuit court judge Jon Hulsing gave his sentence, Powell's attorney, Fil Iorio told the court, "My client has been a good and decent person."
Iorio added, "He has tremendous amount of support from his family, from former colleagues, people at his church."
The victim's mother read a statement written by the girl who is now 17 years old.
"I lost the respect from my peers and teachers. I lost the trust and respect of my family. Many of the students at West Ottawa are saying things like he could've picked a prettier girl [inaudible]. I wish he had," she said.
The girl said she's worked through this situation, that she's stronger emotionally, and that she's drawn closer to her family and to God. She even said she's now a 4.0 student in college.
"I am just glad that it's all over, and I can move on with my life knowing that he will not be able to take advantage or coax anymore girls into doing things that they do not and should not ever be persuaded to do," she said.
Iorio said his client can no longer teach. The judge placed Powell on probation for two years. He will also have to register as a sex offender for the next 25 years.