A former Georgia chorus teacher was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting several minor students.
Ryan Parker McKendrick, a former teacher at Woodstock High School in Georgia, pleaded guilty to nine counts of sexually assaulting students after being accused of groping and touching six high school students under the age of 18, according to FOX 5.
Administrators first learned about concerning text messages exchanged between McKendrick and two students in September 2018, according to the Cherokee County district attorney.
Following an investigation into McKendrick, authorities discovered that former students had experienced similar behavior from the teacher.
“When these crimes came to light, the girls were abundantly clear about what the defendant had done to them. Sadly, some members of the community and their peers discounted their experiences, even suggesting any touching was accidental.
However, the facts showed that the defendant’s actions were unlawful. He groomed not only these girls, but also everyone around him so that he could continue to engage in this troubling behavior,” Assistant District Attorney Leyna Pope said.
Victims of the sexual assaults testified in court that the abuse was traumatizing, and many said they are still feeling the effects, such as self-doubt and an inability to trust anyone.
“It takes a very sick man to take advantage of vulnerable, under-aged girls in the ways that you did,” one victim told McKendrick during a plea hearing. “Today I let you go. And I hope it is the last time I will ever hear your name.”
A Cherokee County Judge sentenced the former teacher to 20 years in prison, with the first three years served in prison and the remainder served on probation as a sex offender with special conditions.