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Former teacher pleads guilty to sex charges

Maddie Neigenfind, Features Editor

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A former Maize teacher pleaded guilty on Monday to two felony counts of unlawful sexual relations with a minor.

Johnny Yelverton, who taught law enforcement and fire science classes at the Maize Career Academy, will be sentenced Jan. 16. Yelverton could receive probation or a prison sentence and will be fined. Both counts carry a sentencing guideline between 31 and 136 months, Sedgwick County District Court Judge Bruce Brown said.

Yelverton, who must register as a sex offender, did not speak during the hearing other than to respond yes to the judge’s questions.

“Yes, Your Honor,” Yelverton said when asked if he understood the rights he was giving up by pleading guilty.

Yelverton originally was charged with six counts of unlawful sexual relations with a minor and one count of failure to report suspected child abuse. The other charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

He was arrested in May after he was suspected of having a relationship with a student. He was 44 at the time of his arrest. The student was 17.

Yelverton was featured in a Play Newsmagazine story in 2017 during his first year at Maize. He previously worked as a police officer in Augusta. He also served in the Air Force and with fire rescue.

“People are going to do stupid things,” he said in the story. “But if you come through here, if I put your picture on my wall when you graduate, when you get into a uniform or something, and you fail me or you fail yourself or you fail your family or your community, that’s my biggest fear. To see your picture on the news when you have done something wrong.”

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Maddie Neigenfind, Features Editor

Senior Maddie Neigenfind is the Features Editor for Play Newsmagazine and has been on staff for three years. Neigenfind loves playing softball, ceramics,...

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Former teacher pleads guilty to sex charges