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Former teacher sentenced to 10 years for sex crimes

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Durrant found guilty on 19 of 29 charges after inappropriate contact with a student

By Gina Clear

A former middle school teacher convicted on multiple sex crimes involving a student formally was sentenced Tuesday morning in Hardin Circuit Court.

Anthony Durrant, 47, was found guilty on 19 of 29 charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison, which was the jury’s recommendation.

Durrant received a 10-year sentence for 14 of the counts and a one-year sentence for the other five. The sentences will run concurrently, or at the same time, for a total of 10 years. He also will have to register as a sex offender upon his release for the rest of his life.

“This is not an isolated event, but a series of transactions that showed not just a lack of judgment, but a criminal course of conduct,” Judge Kelly Mark Easton said during the sentencing.

The former J.T. Alton Middle School teacher was found guilty of 14 counts of use of a minor in a sexual performance, four counts of unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities and one count of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.

“This case has some important lessons for a lot of people,” Easton said. “One is a teacher is in a position of trust. Our culture, our society and our laws protect teenage individuals who do not yet have the capacity to make good judgment decisions in these situations especially when they are reaching a point of engaging in sexual activity. The last person who should be encouraging them to get involved with them is a teacher.”

Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Teresa Logsdon told the court no victim statement was submitted to her office.

The trial consisted mostly of testimony from a 14-year-old former student of Durrant’s, who testified she sent Durrant multiple nude photos and that they shared numerous texts in which they discussed starting a sexual relationship.

Durrant was found not guilty of five counts of unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities, four counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor and one count of first-degree sexual abuse.

Gina Clear can be reached at 270-505-1746 or gclear@thenewsenterprise.com.