|Former Teacher Sentenced in Sex Case
September 10, 2008
A former private school teacher and high school coach must now register as a sex offender after being convicted of having sex with a 17-year-old girl.
Andrew John Humphreys, 27, appeared in Douglas County Circuit Court for sentencing Tuesday. The man pleaded guilty in July to the misdemeanor charge of contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor.
Humphreys was 26 when he had sex with the teen he'd met at their church, Oakland Church of Christ, where he served as a youth group leader, said Deputy District Attorney Colin Benson.
Humphreys at the time was teaching at Umpqua Valley Christian School and was coaching sports at Oakland High School, where the girl was a student.
In court Tuesday, the prosecutor said the two met through the church youth group in March of 2007. Over the next several months, Humphreys began text messaging her, then calling her. The two then began to go on what Benson described as dates and eventually started having sexual contact.
"What we're seeing in this police report, your honor, is very standard, very typical grooming patterns for an adult who is seeking a child victim," Benson told Judge George Ambrosini, according to an audio recording of the hearing.
The teen, Benson said, put an end to the situation. He said the girl, who was not at the hearing Tuesday, has sought counseling.
Humphreys' defense attorney, Don Diment Jr. of Eugene, disagreed with Benson's description of the man's actions as grooming behavior.
"I suggest that the significant difference with Mr. Humphreys, in this instance, is that he has never to this day denied any of these actions," Diment said.
Ambrosini sentenced Humphreys to serve five days of work crew, pay a $500 fee and register as a sex offender. Charges of sexual misconduct and physical harassment, both misdemeanors, were dismissed.
Two people testified on behalf of Humphreys, including his uncle and a former pastor from Creswell, where Humphreys lived while attending Northwest Christian College in Eugene.
Pastor David Stram of Creswell Church of Christ said he never had cause for concern over Humphreys' character. He described the man, who served as a youth pastor at the church, as personable with a sincere heart.
"I entrusted my own children to Andrew's care for a number of years," he said.
Humphreys also addressed the court, apologizing for any pain he caused the teen and her family.
"I'm here to take full responsibility for my actions," he said. "I do regret my past decisions, and if I could take it all back, I assure you that I would."
He acknowledged that he has sacrificed his ability to continue to work with youth in positive ways because of his involvement with the teen.
Humphreys is no longer teaching. His license with the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, which was not required for his work at the local private school, expired in April.
He requested to have it reinstated, but the process was delayed in part because of the criminal charges, said Melody Hanson, director of professional standards with the commission.
He has been notified that he will not be able to attain a license. Humphreys has not made a request for a hearing before the commission
"That is one of the crimes that requires that we mandatorily revoke his license," Hanson said.
Oakland School District Superintendent Dan Forbess said the abuse came to light when Humphreys resigned his post as assistant coach at the high school and disclosed the situation. Forbess said he was required by law to make a report.
"It was a relationship that shouldn't have taken place," Forbess said.
Officials with Umpqua Valley Christian School declined to comment this morning. A representative of Oakland Church of Christ also declined comment.
• You can reach reporter Chelsea Duncan at 957-4246 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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