Tonawanda News — BUFFALO — A former Kenmore Middle School teacher was sentenced Thursday morning to six months in jail after the now 14-year-old girl described how he exerted his control over her through inappropriate sexual text messages for two years.
“How was I supposed to get out of it? He told me not to tell anyone,” she said. “He has ruined me.”
The incident was initially reported to Town of Tonawanda police in May, and William Kuhn, a teacher and band instructor, was placed on administrative leave.
Kuhn, 42, pleaded guilty in July to second-degree disseminating indecent material to minors, admitting that he sent a picture of his naked genitalia to the student. As part of his plea, he agreed to resign immediately and permanently surrender his teaching license to the New York State Department of Education.
Although the charge relates to only one photograph, prosecutor Roseanne Johnson said Thursday that the student is a victim of “ongoing, pervasive harm” and that Kuhn subjected her to an inappropriate relationship for years.
“This is a case involving an egregious breach of trust, in which the defendant is three times the age of the juvenile victim,” she said.
The victim, who has been in counseling and changed school districts, described the extent of her relationship with Kuhn, who she met in 6th grade during band.
“I adored being his student, I trusted him as someone to look up to,” the teen, whose family and friends attended the sentencing for support, said.
Kuhn, formerly of the town, began texting the girl, as he did with many of his students, the victim said. Although the communication wasn’t unusual at first, they soon began texting daily, and eventually, Kuhn told the girl he had feelings for her.
“He made me feel good about myself,” she said.