Former teacher pleads guilty to ‘sexual relationship’
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE, Colorado ” A former high school teacher faces up to three years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to having “an inappropriate sexual relationship” with a female student, authorities said.
After a plea agreement with prosecutors, John James Allen, 28, of Edwards, faces one to three years in prison instead of two to six years in prison, authorities said.
Also known as Jamie Allen, Allen taught theology and coached girls’ soccer and volleyball at Vail Christian High School in Edwards.
The female student wanted to end her relationship with Allen so she tried to send him an e-mail saying so, Lt. Mike McWilliam of the Sheriff’s Office has said.
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, McWilliam has said.
Investigators interviewed the girl about the relationship Oct. 11 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’s bond was paid and he was released from Eagle County jail Oct. 18.
On Wednesday, Allen pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault, a felony, and attempted unlawful sexual contact, a misdemeanor, Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said.
Allen was originally charged with felony sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, Hurlbert said.
Prosecutors had a “very strong” case against Allen for the original charge, Hurlbert said. However, the female student’s family wanted to the case finished before the holidays and Allen was “taking responsibility,” so prosecutors accepted Allen’s guilty plea to the lesser charge, Hurlbert said.
“It’s certainly not giving away the farm on this one,” Hurlbert said. “He’s pleading guilty to felony (attempted) sexual assault and could go to prison.”
“I do want to be very clear that it was not an attempt. It was a completed sexual assault,” said Hurlbert, who declined to elaborate on specifics.
Allen is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 21.
Allen’s Edwards defense attorney, Brett Heckman, declined comment on the case.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or email@example.com.