A former Shawnee Mission school teacher was sentenced to three years probation Friday morning.
Michelle Preston must register as a sex offender.
A judge agreed to the plea deal struck by the defense and prosecution calling for just probation. Kansas sentencing guidelines typically call for prison time in such cases.
Preston showed no emotion as the judge imposed sentence. She made no public comments.
Prosecutors say Preston had sex 15 times with students from September 2010 through December 2010 inside her Lenexa home.
Prosecutors said semen from one of the students was found on a sofa cushion. Prosecutors said she initiated all three relationships with the students through Facebook.
Nude photos of the teacher were circulated among the students. Those photos led to discovery of the illicit relationships. The Shawnee Mission West principal learned of the photos and contacted police.
Preston was the freshman cheerleading coach. She also taught psychology and world geography.
In 2011, the district declined to renew her contract because of her misconduct.
The students voluntarily had sex and they were all 16 years or older, which is the age of consent in Kansas. One of the students was 18 years old.
That explains why the prosecution didn't seek prison time, said Johnson County Assistant District Attorney Keith Henderson.
Defense attorney Scott Toth said his client received mental health treatment, which he said she needed.
"She does not pose a risk to the community or pose a risk to children," Toth said.
Preston has given birth since the charges were filed.
The judge said the mental evaluation showed that Preston is not a pedophile, that she just used poor judgement.
Both the defense and prosecution said Preston did not receive preferential treatment because she was a woman.
Preston can later ask to have her record expunged if she completes her probation. If that occurs, it is unclear now whether she must remain a registered sex offender for the full 25 years or not.
Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:43:54 GMT
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