- Mark Gokavi Staff Writer
A former Wayne High School teacher caught having sex with her student was sentenced to five years’ community control Monday morning in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.
Kelsey L. Hartmann, 28, earlier reached a plea deal with prosecutors in which she pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree felony unlawful sexual conduct with a teenage boy. She had been indicted on three felony counts of sexual battery of a minor by a teacher.
Hartmann will be classified as a Tier II sex offender, meaning she must register her address twice per year for the next 25 years. The maximum sentence could have been five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor Jon Marshall said the reduced charge was due to the wishes of the boy’s family.
The boy’s mother told the Dayton Daily News that she was outraged by Hartmann’s sentence.
“Probation? I would have expected her to do some jail time,” said the mother of the boy. “This isn’t a case where they had to build a case.
“In order to keep him off of the stand and to keep his anonymity, this is what we either agreed to … or he had to go to (testify at) trial.”
Hartmann also must undergo intensive supervision and sex offender and psychological treatment, pay court costs and perform 120 hours of community service. If she violates her probation or commits any new offenses, Hartmann could be sentenced to more restrictive probation or incarceration.
The boy’s mother wasn’t sure why her letter wasn’t read in court as a victim impact statement, but a letter entitled “Victim Impact Statement” she provided to the Dayton Daily News said, read in part:
“Mrs. Hartmann broke the trust of the community, the ethical code of a teacher, and her vows to her husband when she violated the mind and body of a (16-year-old), impressionable boy.”
Judge Michael Krumholtz said he reviewed the pre-sentencing investigation, the defense’s sentencing memo and letters from interested parties on both sides. He said the letter written by Hartmann’s husband was “particularly powerful” in helping him determine his sentence. Krumholtz said Hartmann’s risk of recidivism is low and that community control is “the right thing” because she has permanently surrendered her Ohio’s teacher’s certificate and that she has been shamed via public scrutiny.
“Yes, your Honor,” Hartmann told Krumholtz when asked if the charge was true. Hartmann did not say anything before sentencing. Judge Krumholtz quoted Hartmann in a doctor’s report as saying, “I didn’t get myself help that I knew I needed.”
Her attorney, James Ambrose, said Hartmann made her apologies to the victim’s family known and that this “has been devastating for Kelsey and her family.”
“Judge Krumholtz conducted a very thorough review of the entire case,” said Marshall, who had no other comment.
Hartmann was in her fourth year as a Spanish teacher in the Huber Heights City School district when she was caught performing a sex act on a 16-year-old student while in her vehicle near Canal Lock Park, according to Huber Heights police and court documents.
Under Ohio law, the age of sexual consent is 16, but not when “the offender is a teacher, administrator, coach, or other person in authority employed by or serving in an institution of higher education, and the other person is enrolled in or attends that institution.”
Hartmann, a married Centerville resident, was found with a minor at 5:53 p.m. Nov. 21 when a police report said an officer observed a black Jeep with fogged windows on Endicott Road in Huber Heights.
According to the police report, the minor stated he had unprotected sex with Hartmann two days earlier in her husband’s vehicle. The boy also told police the teacher started flirting with him at the end of last school year, mostly in phone calls or texts, according to reports.
The police report states that after the officer knocked on the window of the Jeep, “the female was shaking nervously and the male just sat there still and quiet.” The boy first told the officer that he was 18 and that Hartmann said the boy told her he was 18. The boy later admitted to being 16.
The boy said he was going to go to the movies on his own but that Hartmann texted him and asked to pick him up in her vehicle, the report said.
Hartmann initially wouldn’t answer the officer’s question about where she worked. After she said she was a teacher, the officer placed handcuffs on her, according to the report.
Hartmann was placed on administrative leave by Huber Heights school officials and later resigned. Hartmann would have had to pass several criminal background checks to teach at Wayne, per Ohio law. She had no prior criminal history.