Former Catholic Central Tutor Gets Up to 25 Years in Prison for Sex Crimes Against Student
On Wednesday, former Catholic Central High School tutor Abigail Simons was sentenced by a Kent County Circuit Court judge to eight to 25 years in prison for having a sexual relationship with a minor, WZZM-13 reported.
In November, a Kent County Circuit Court jury found Simmons guilty on three felony counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one felony count of accosting a minor for immoral purposes after nine hours of deliberations.
The charges stemmed from the 35-year-old Simon's relationship with a student at the Grand Rapids high school over a three-month period in winter 2013, WZZM-13 reported.
Simon claimed the boy, then 15 years old, initiated the relationship, at times threatening her with violence. However, prosecutors said it was Simons who initiated the relationship with the student, whom she was tutoring at the time.
According to WZZM-13, the victim's mother spoke during the sentencing, saying Abigail Simon used the tragic death of the victim's older sister to prey on him emotionally. His mother admitted the victim had a "school boy crush" on his 33-year-old tutor, but Simon coerced him into doing things to satisfy her. "Abby used him to fulfill her perverse desires," she said.
Before her sentence was handed down by Kent County Circuit Judge Paul Sullivan, a tearful Simon plead for leniency.
"I'm asking you, your honor, to trust the goodness in me," she said, also apologizing for not seeking help earlier for what the defense called "severe mental health issues."
While Simon received eight to 25 years, the sentencing guidelines had allowed a minimum of seven to 11 years in prison with a maximum of up to life in prison.