Teacher Sentenced Over Sex With Student 22 Years Ago
Retired Michael Layne Williamson apologized for “indiscretion”
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2016 7:48 AM CDT
Michael Layne Williamson, 60.   (Utah State Prison)

(Newser) – A retired Utah school teacher was sent to prison for having sex with one of his teenage students 22 years ago, reports the Deseret News. The woman came forward last year and told police that former teacher Michael Layne Williamson, 60, had repeatedly assaulted her over a period of years. He was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison by a judge who berated him for disgracing the "noble profession" of teaching. Williamson, who pleaded guilty in May to aggravated sexual abuse of a child and another count of attempted sexual abuse, apologized in court. "This indiscretion of mine was of the most heinous type," he said. "Let me stop you right there," retorted Judge Thomas WIllmore. "It is not an indiscretion. You broke the law."

The unidentified victim, now 35, displayed a photo of herself as an eighth-grader and said Williamson ruined her life. "You put it all on my shoulders, those of a 13-year-old, to carry," she said. "I always blamed myself." She said she left the state and kept silent but on a trip back home, the pain was too much. Supporters of Williamson, however, wrote that he was a respected teacher and golf coach who “fell victim to the persuasions of a girl,” reports the Herald Journal. It's possible this isn't the end of Williamson's legal trouble: Last year, the state changed the law to allow victims of sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits years after the fact, notes the Deseret News. (In Texas, this teacher was accused of having a longtime sexual relationship with an eighth-grade student.)