Former Lenexa teacher pleads guilty in teen sex case

11/20/2013 11:06 PM

11/20/2013 11:06 PM

A former Johnson County high school teacher admitted Wednesday having sexual contact with two teenage boys.

Jeremy John Way, 43, pleaded guilty in Johnson County District Court to two counts of criminal sodomy with the boys he had met through personal ads they had placed online.

Way, of Shawnee, taught science at St. James Academy in Lenexa until the allegations against him surfaced earlier this year. The boys involved in the incidents were not students at the school.

Way started teaching at St. James in 2008. Before that, he taught at Mill Valley High School in Shawnee.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin O’Connor said Wednesday that the investigation began in February when the parents of a 14-year-old boy discovered sexually explicit emails on his cellphone and contacted police. Detectives traced phone records to Way.

He admitted to police that he had met the teen for sex. He said the teen’s online ad indicated he was 18, but the teen told him he was 16 when they met.

During the investigation, detectives learned of a second boy, who told them about a similar sexual encounter after he had turned 14.

District Judge Kelly Ryan scheduled sentencing for Jan. 21. Sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of approximately five years in prison on each count.

Under the terms of Wednesday’s plea agreement, whatever sentences Way receives will run concurrently. Defense Attorney Paul Morrison can ask for a lesser sentence than called for by the guidelines. Prosecutors will oppose any reduction.

Way will have to register as a sex offender.

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