Matthew Lusby, a former math teacher at the daVinci Institute in Jackson was sentenced Wednesday to 5-20 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old female student of his. Judge McBain delivered the sentencing at the Jackson County Circuit Court. The judge scolded Lusby for abusing his position of authority, and described the case extremely disturbing. Lusby will be eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 5 years in prison.
"I think you moved in an groomed on her after (you knew she had emotional needs)," said Judge John McBain, of the Jackson County Circuit Court. "You know, you digitally penetrated her while you were at school, on school property, and then essentially it graduated from there to oral sex. It then graduated to full sexual relations. You had a long opportunity to reflect upon this. It wasn't just an accident and it happened one time."
"I knew that what we did was negative, but I thought I had a good impact on her. I'm afraid that might not be the case now," said Lusby before hearing the final sentence. "I never meant it to be sexual. And I would like to tell you [Judge McBain] why, but no part of me thinks it was ok. I don't know why it happened. There's no way I can justify it to myself, there's no way I can justify it in any situation. I know it was wrong. I don't know why [I did it]."
Lusby, 28, is married and a father of two kids. He had achieved well academically in college.
"I am sure that you had good skills as a teacher," said Judge McBain. "But boy you missed something along your training when it came to how to deal with people when you're in a position of authority."
Lusby had no prior criminal record. His bail was revoked when he picked up the victim after her prom. The prosecution said he was trying to convince her how traumatic it would be to have her go through trial.
"The guidelines probably would have been significantly higher if he had any prior criminal history which he did not, but that's the only thing that saved him because otherwise the judge would have launched him into the next county," said Mark Blumer, a Jackson County Chief Assistant Prosecutor. "His behavior was just unforgivable and we're satisfied that the judge did what was necessary under the circumstances."
The prosecution said the young victim beliefs she is at fault, that somehow she did something wrong.
"I don't hold much of any hope for him to rehabilitate and truly realize what he has done here," said Kati Rezmierski, a Jackson County Assistant Prosecutor. "Personally I do not think the court can issue a sentence that is tough enough to fit his behavior. I do hope your honor will be able to find a way to do that."
Lusby admitted to prosecutors as part of a plea deal in July that he had sex multiple times with the student. Lusby plead guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct in exchange for having a a second-degree charge dropped. The plea deal meant prosecutors got a conviction without having to make the victim testify.
Lusby's bond was revoked when police caught him in his car with the girl in May. He will be a registered sex offender for life. Lusby resigned from daVinci in back in February.
"I don't think there is a parent in the state of Michigan, that wouldn't share the court's same concern," said Judge McBain. "In fact that's specifically why the legislature passed action."
"There's absolutely no justification or forgiveness for this kind of a crime," said Blumer. "We're gratified that the judge saw the case in the same light."
Since Lusby's assaults, the young victim has been hospitalized twice for suicide attempts. Lusby will be eligible for parole after serving a minimum of five years in prison.
"I really never meant to hurt her. I'm just sorry. And I never meant to hurt my family," said Lusby in tears.