Plea deal calls for prison time for former driver's ed teacher

2014-01-08T17:40:00Z 2014-01-08T22:57:09Z Plea deal calls for prison time for former driver's ed teacherStan Maddux Times Correspondent
January 08, 2014 5:40 pm  • 

LAPORTE | A driver's education teacher at South Central High School who scheduled extra sessions with a student in order to sexually assault her could be headed to prison.

Brian Strauss has agreed to a three-year prison sentence along with 13 years on probation for Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor under a Jan. 3 plea agreement.

Sentencing is scheduled Feb. 21 if LaPorte Circuit Court Judge Tom Alevizos accepts the terms.

According to court documents, an inappropriate relationship between Strauss and a then 15-year-old girl started in the summer of 2008 with some online chatting.

The keyboard exchanges soon became sexual.

The girl also told investigators after her ninth grade year she enrolled in a driver's education course taught by Strauss.

The girl told police Strauss arranged for extra training sessions with her so they could be alone and during those periods there was sexual contact between them.

Strauss later resigned from his teaching position and went on to become principal at South Adams Elementary School in Berne about 35 miles south of Fort Wayne.

He left that position after the criminal charges came to light in October of 2012.

LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi said the sentence called for in the plea is stiff despite just minimal jail time.

He said the amount of probation is lengthy and he must remain in sex offender counseling during the entire time he is on probation and any violation could mean serving the entire sentence in prison.

"It's not going to be an easy task," said Szilagyi.

Strauss has no prior criminal record but the plea falls just short of the 20 year maximum sentence, he said.

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