CORYDON, IN (WAVE) - A former New Middletown teacher convicted of molesting his 12-year-old student was sentenced to 90 years in jail on Thursday.
Corey Faith was arrested in March, charged with molesting a young girl for years, starting in 2005.
During Faith’s sentencing hearing Thursday, the victim of Faith’s abuse testified before a judge. Breaking down in tears multiple times through her testimony, she told the judge how when she was just 12-years-old, her sixth grade teacher became her boyfriend.
The victim told the judge in detail about how Faith came to her rescue when she was in the sixth grade, explaining to the court that she and her little brother were often afterthoughts in her family. They were dealing with serious mental health issues from her mother, who was also molested at age 12, and her father as he struggled to keep the family together. The victim explained that Faith started as a babysitter for her and her brother and later transitioned into someone she saw nearly every day both at school and at each other’s homes.
The victim testified to the court that Faith bought her clothes and food, taking care of her and her brother. She described their relationship as caring, telling the judge “we fell in love” when she was 12. The relationship quickly developed into a physical one. She said “he started kissing me and touching me.”
One day, she testified, Faith asked her to be his girlfriend. She told him no initially, knowing her teacher was married. She later changed her mind, believing that he cared deeply for her.
The victim told the judge in detail about how Faith groomed her for years. The first time they had sex, she testified, she didn’t understand what it was. When the sexual relationship began, she said it happened almost every time they were around one another and continued for years.
“I was confused,” she testified. “He would tell me he loved me.”
She described plans the two made about running away to Tennessee to be together.
The abuse was reported earlier this year by a friend of the victim -- the first person she said she’s ever told about the relationship. The victim said she hadn’t wanted to come forward, but eventually decided to testify after deciding this could possibly happen to another girl just like her.
The victim’s father cried in court during the day’s testimony. After Faith was sentenced, he said he’s been thinking about how hard this has been for Faith’s family and his own.
“Corey Faith made some really horrible decisions that hurt my family, lost my daughter for years,” the victim’s father said, who didn’t want to be identified to protect his daughter’s identity.
He added: “I think he needed to be punished. We can’t have teachers and people of authority raping our kids. You know, you send your kid to school or drop them off, see them get on the bus and you think everything’s going to be great. When you have something like that happen, horrible and bizarre, and nobody can even imagine that your kid would be done that way at school.”
Judge Joseph Claypool sentenced Faith to 30 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections for each of the three counts of child molestation he pleaded guilty to, with a 20 year suspended sentence.
“I think that this was a long, trying day and there was a lot of emotional, passionate testimony from both sides," Harrison County Prosecutor Otto Schalk said. "At the end of the day, the state’s recommendation was one of taking in all the circumstances and the facts. And at the end of the day, my job as a minister of justice is to seek a fair and impartial sentence, taking into consideration every vulnerable child that attends a Harrison County school.”
“He got a pretty good punishment," the victim’s father said. "He’s going to be in prison, I don’t think forever, but I hope it’s enough time to punish him and he realizes what he had done was really bad and he won’t hurt another child, that’s the only thing I pray. I hope and pray he didn’t but he was in the school system for a while.”
He said his daughter “was very tore up” about the judge’s sentencing of Faith. He and much of the family have been deeply impacted by Faith’s actions, he said.
“This case has been terribly emotional. This was a textbook case of how grooming and manipulating a child over many years could have lasting, long-lasting and drastic effects on their life emotionally, physically and certainly this case is no exception,” Schalk said.
“I have an extremely large amount of hatred toward him," the victim’s father said. “And hopefully with prayer and time, I’ll be able to overcome that.”