In June, we wrote about Jamila Williams, a Grand Rapids public school teacher who allegedly engaged in sexual relations with two teenage boys. Recently, Williams was sentenced to between eight and 15 years in prison for having sex with the teenage students.
36-year-old Williams is now banned from having any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16; she was suspended from her position at Grand Rapids University Prep Academy, where she had been a math teacher.
In September, the defendant pleaded no contest to four counts of criminal sexual conduct with the teens. In exchange for her plea, three additional charges were dropped by the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office. While Williams apologized, saying that she broke the trust of the students she was dedicated to helping make successful, Judge Paul Sullivan called the harm the defendant had brought to students, the victims’ families, and the school “incalculable.”
Grand Rapids Police claimed in court that Williams engaged in sexual activity with the four boys at various locations, including a one of the victim’s homes, a car, an alley, and at a Golden Corral Restaurant. A mother of one of the victims claimed that Williams had sexual relations with her teenage son during school hours inside a locked classroom.
At her sentencing, Williams stated that she did not prey on the teens, and that she was not a predator.
Because Williams pleaded no contest to the charges, she may petition the Michigan appeals court to hear her case, but does not have the automatic right as an individual would if he or she were found guilty at trial. News articles indicate that Williams will be required to register as a sex offender for life.
In the state of Michigan, crimes involving sexual assault, rape, child pornography, or other offenses of a sexual nature are taken very seriously. Those convicted are punished harshly, often spending years or even life behind bars depending on the circumstances. However, there are many innocent people who face life-changing consequences for crimes they did not commit. While prison time is absolutely something no one wants to face, being placed on the Sex Offender Registry for life is perhaps even worse punishment.
If you have been arrested or charged with criminal sexual conduct, contact a skilled and aggressive Michigan sex crime defense attorney immediately, regardless of the stage of your case.