Former Grain Valley teacher to be sentenced for molestation - KCTV5

Former Grain Valley teacher sentenced to 15 years in prison for molestation

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Kansas City Star Kansas City Star
INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

A Jackson County judge has sentenced a former elementary school teacher to 15 years in prison.

Matthew Nelson admitted to molesting 11 boys between August 2008 and January 2012. The boys were second- and third-graders in Nelson's class. The children were 7 to 10 years old.

Nelson previously had admitted to his guilt. Nelson worked in the Grain Valley School District for a decade up until early last year.

Parents whose children were sexually abused by Nelson applauded when deputies led him away in handcuffs.

"I don't think 15 years is long enough for what happened to our kids," one parent said.

Some of the victims submitted letters describing their hatred for Nelson and their fear, anger and disbelief. Why this happened to them was a common question voiced by victims.

Nelson kept his head down during the hearing. He previously pleaded guilty to 16 felony counts of child molestation, statutory sodomy and attempted child molestation.

Nelson was a second- and third-grade teacher at Prairie Branch Elementary School in Grain Valley.

Jackson County prosecutors said he touched them with their clothes on during reading time, circle time and at a Kansas City Royals baseball game.

Last month, parents sat through the disturbing details when he entered his plea.

Nelson's attorney said he is sincerely remorseful.

In exchange for the guilty plea, Nelson agreed to 15 years on the molestation charges, 15 years on the statutory sodomy charges and seven years for the attempted child molestation all to run concurrently.

Parents read riveting letters about how their boys will be forever changed and how someone trusted by children and their parents stole their children's innocence.

"Right now, he doesn't trust any male teachers at all," one parent said.

One mother said her son begged not to wear shorts to school even when the weather was warm.

"Parents just believe your children. Listen to your children when your children say they don't want to go to school," one devastated family member said. "Ask 'em 'why?'"

Another said Nelson preyed on vulnerable children, such as children whose parents were divorcing.

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