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January 29, 2013     Cape Gazette
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January 29, 2013

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Cape Gazette NEWS TUESDAY, JANUARY 29- THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2013 3 Prosecutor: Charles Coursey crushed the public's trust By Kara Nuzback Exactly one year after he was arrested for having a sexual re- lationship with one of his stu- dents, Sussex Technical High School teacher Charles Coursey was sentenced to five years in prison. Coursey, 39, was arrested Jan. 25, 2012, and charged with three counts 0f first- degree sexual abuse of a child by a per- son of trust, four counts of second- degree un- lawful sexual contact, two Charles Coursey counts of deal- ing in child pornography and two counts of obscenity. Coursey pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Dec. 5. On Jan. 25, he was sentenced by Judge T. Henley Graves. Before Graves issued the sen- tence, defense attorney James Liguori said Coursey is genu- inely remorseful for his actions. "When teachers are faced with this type of issue, there's only one answer: No. And that didn't happen," Liguori said. Liguori asked Graves to issue the minimum mandatory sen- tence for Coursey's crime - two years in prison. "There's been nothing like this, obviously, in his life before," Liguori said. Coursey who towered above his attorney, began choking up as he told Graves he did-not consider the consequences his actions would have on his wife, his son, the 17-year-old victim and her family. "It's been really hard," he said. "I'm extremely sorry for everything that has happened." Coursey said he has already begun attending several coun- seling programs. Coursey's wife, Holly Coursey, testified briefly on her husband's behalf. "I'm not here to make excuses," she said qui- etly. "He hurt a lot of people, but..." Liguori walked to the podium and briefly embraced Holly, who was crying. "He's a good person, and he's going to do everything he can," she continued. "I assure you that same car ride, Coursey sent More news and Sports: : that nothing like this is ever go- a text to the victim that read, "I capegazette.0m ing to happen again." can still smell you...." Holly also asked Graves to "He made several bad deci- issue the minimum mandatory sions on a continuing basis," Do- sentence for her husband, nahue said. "He took advantage spent eight days at Dover Be- Deputy Attorney General of her." havioral Health as a result of the John Donahue argued teach- According to court docu- crime. "She went into an insti- ers are among the few people ments, Coursey sent obscene tution," Graves said. "She was with whom citizens feel they photos of himself to the girl, and vulnerable." can trust their children. "Mr. they started meeting at an off- Coursey was sentenced to Coursey took that trust and school location in early Janu- five years in prison. After his crushed it," he said. ary 2012. Court documents say release, he must serve 11 years Donahue said Coursey should the relationship turned physical probation and complete a men- receive more than the minimum in the parking lot of Delaware tal-health evaluation and sexual mandatory sentence because he Technical Community College. offender counseling. Coursey The two met several timeswas ordered to have no contacf 'WHEN TEACHERS ARE FACED in the weeks leading up to with the victim, her family or Coursey's arrest at a pole barn anyone under 18 who is not his WITH THIS TYPE OF ISSUE, where the teacher stored a trav- own child or stepchild. THERE'S ONLY ONE ANSWER: el trailer, documents state. Coursey was then handcuffed. NO. AND THAT DIDN'T HAP- Before handing down the sen- As Capitol Police led him out PEN.' tence, Graves told Coursey, "It of the courtroom, he turned to really doesn't make any differ- his wife, sitting in the gallery, - JAMES LIGUORI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY ence whether your students are and mouthed the words, "I love flirtatious, you." took advantage of the victim's "When you were 22, she was Coursey had worked at Sus- troubled life. born," Graves said. He also sex Tech for five years and was Coursey claims the victim noted the relationship was not a making $50,034.30 a year, ac- pursued himl Donahue said, but one-time mistake; Coursey met cording to information provided the victim claims he told her with the victim numerous times by the-Sussex Technical School she was sexy, and touched her in secret. District; he was suspended with inappropriately on several oc- Graves saidCoursey has led a pay pending the completion of casions, decent life until this point, with the investigation. Donahue said Coursey also no criminal history, but to issue Graves prohibited Coursey claimed on a drive to Wesley only the minimum mandatory from working as a teacher, College he experienced feel: sentence would depreciate his coach or any position where he ings of doubt and guilt about the crime, would have authority over chil- relationship. Donahue said on Graves also said the victim dren. JOINA 296-9622