Seven teachers support male rapist of middle schooler
(The rapist was head of the teacher's union.)
....“Four days after my wife was diagnosed, a state trooper came out to our house and we found out our son was molested,” said Janczewski, who is also fighting his own battle with Multiple Sclerosis. “Somebody sent an anonymous email with pictures of my son to the board of education and the superintendent.”
The email and pictures proved Erickson “was a predator and he groomed our son to molest him,” he said.
Someone also posted the pictures online.
“They never found out who sent the emails and brought it to the surface,” Janczewski said. “On the one hand, we’re very appreciative … but on the other hand, we’re angry. Why didn’t they come forward sooner? Why did they put the pictures on a porn site?”
...Despite the disturbing revelations, the Janczewskis were content to let the legal process take its course. They kept a low profile and followed Erickson’s criminal case closely. Erickson admitted to his misdeeds, and the couple attended his sentencing July 10.
That’s when they learned for the first time that numerous teachers in the school district wrote to the court to plead for a lenient sentence for their colleague. They were shocked to see several teachers – and school board member Mike Eagan – sitting across the courtroom with the sex offender’s family.
“Neal made a mistake,” teacher Sally Campbell wrote to the judge, according to the Ogemaw County Herald. “He allowed a mutual friendship to develop into much more. He realized his mistake and ended it years before someone anonymously sent something in to the authorities which began this legal process.”
“I am asking that Neal be given the absolute minimum sentence, considering all the circumstances surrounding this case,” wrote Amy Huber Eagan, a teacher and wife of board member Mike Eagan. “I am also hoping that he can stay remanded to the custody of the Ogemaw County Jail and not be sent to a prison facility.”
“Neal has pled (sic) guilty for his one criminal offense but he is not a predator,” teacher Harriett Coe wrote, according to the Herald. “This was an isolated incident. He understands the severity of his action and is sincere in his desire to make amends. He has been candid and conveyed his action to his family, friends and co-workers.”
In all, 10 people, including seven WB-RC teachers, submitted letters of support for Erickson, most pleading for a reduced sentence. They included Campbell, Amy Eagan, Coe, Toni Erickson, Carol Rau, Marilyn Glover, Sandi Lee, Kathryn Weber, Kathleen Sheel and Kathleen Palmer, the Herald reports.
Judge Michael Bumgartner told Erickson he was “appalled and ashamed that the community could rally around, in this case, you,” according to the Herald.
“What you did was a jab in the eye with a sharp stick to every parent who trusts a teacher,” he said shortly before sentencing Erickson to 15-30 years in prison....
....The local community has rushed to the Janczewskis’ side. Media coverage of the unbelievable situation has also spread, and families in other states are joining their cause, as well.
The Facebook group “Support the Janczewski Family” has swelled to more than 2,100 members in recent weeks. At the special July 29 school board meeting about 300 local residents flooded the school auditorium and spoke out against the offending teachers’ behavior. They urged Eagan to resign, but he refused.
“They want justice. They feel like things have been swept under the rug,” Janczewski said. “The community has had enough, we’re up in arms.”....