Former Edwards teacher gets five months in jail
Eagle, CO Colorado
EAGLE ” A former Vail Christian High School teacher who had an “inappropriate sexual relationship” with a female student was sentenced to five months in jail Thursday afternoon.
John James Allen, 28, of Edwards, was sentenced to 150 days in the Eagle County jail and 10 years of sex-offender probation.
Also known as Jamie Allen, Allen taught theology and coached girls soccer and volleyball at Vail Christian High School in Edwards.
Last year, the female student wanted to end her relationship with Allen so she tried to send him an e-mail saying so. A Florida man who had a similar e-mail address to Allen’s got the e-mail instead and reported it to police Oct. 11.
In December, Allen pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault, a felony, and attempted unlawful sexual contact, a misdemeanor.
Allen’s wife, Katy Allen, told District Court Judge R. Thomas Moorhead during the sentencing hearing Thursday that Allen cries every night, and has never blamed anyone but himself for his crime. She has been with Allen for 12 years, and he is worth loving, she said.
“Through those 12 years, in spite of what he’s done, he’s been a great husband and a great father,” she said.
The student’s father, whose name is being withheld to protect her identity, said that Allen hurt his family. As he cried, the father said he had suffered sleepless nights and depression and asked Moorhead to sentence Allen to a long jail term because Allen “raped” his daughter.
“We as a family are thankful that our daughter was not physically injured,” he said. “She was not found in a ditch or tossed in a river, but rest assured, she has been injured ” as have we all.”
Allen apologized to the student, her family and Vail Christian High School.
“I completely understand the pain that I have caused, and I wish there was something I could do about it,” Allen said.
Brett Heckman, Allen’s defense attorney, asked that Allen not go to jail for five months for the sake of Allen’s young daughter.
John Clune, the student’s attorney, read the e-mail she sent to Allen that eventually led to Allen’s arrest.
“You took advantage of me. You used your age and position and put me in a situation where I really had no choice. What was I supposed to do, turn my teacher down? I went along with it because I was in shock and I didn’t really know what else I was supposed to do. I did love you Jamie, but as a friend. And you took it to the next level,
and I didn’t know what to do.”
Last Oct. 11, investigators interviewed the girl about the relationship and got a warrant for Allen’s arrest the next day. Police arrested Allen at his father’s house in Hermosa Beach, Calif., that night, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Allen sent a written resignation to Vail Christian late Oct. 11, according to an e-mail written by Vail Christian administrators to parents.
Allen was released from jail in October, but on Thursday he hugged his wife and cried before he was handcuffed and led from the courtroom.
Allen must register as a sex offender and he cannot be with children less than 18 years of age, except his two young daughters, Moorhead said. Allen also will have a curfew and cannot drink alcohol while on probation.
“It’s almost unfair to refer to it as probation,” Moorhead said. “I believe it’s closer to “‘constructive incarceration.'”
Allen was originally charged with felony sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust.
Prosecutors had a “very strong” case against Allen for that charge, Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has said. However, the female student’s family wanted the case finished before the holidays and Allen was “taking responsibility,” so prosecutors accepted Allen’s guilty plea to the lesser charge.
Attempted sexual assault carries a penalty of one to three years in prison. Heckman said that the lesser sentence was given because Allen felt remorse, is capable of being treated and has supportive family members and friends who can help him complete his probation after jail.
“The judge pointed out that (Allen) accepted responsibility,” Heckman said.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or email@example.com.
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A Nov. 30 to Governor Polis and the Eagle County Commissioners from Beaver Creek Resorts Company – as well as the towns of Vail, Avon, Eagle and Minturn – requests a variance program which would allow businesses to remain open.