Former Substitute Teacher Pleads Guilty To Sex Offense - Southern Maryland Headline News

Former Substitute Teacher Pleads Guilty To Sex Offense


By Guy Leonard, County Times

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (Aug. 28, 2008)—David Guillemette, a former substitute teacher for the St. Mary's County public school system, pleaded guilty to inappropriately touching a young female who was staying over at his house with a member of his family.

Guillemette, 54, of Great Mills, admitted his guilt to a third-degree sex offense that took place in January before Circuit Court Judge Michael J. Stamm Aug. 22.

He will serve 18 months in the county detention center, though his original sentence was five years in the Department of Corrections.

Guillemette must also pay restitution to the victim, as well as avoid any kind of contact, directly or indirectly, with the victim in the case. Guillemette will also have to register as a sex offender.

“I cannot express in words the pain and suffering I’ve caused,” Guillemette said in court. “If I could turn back the sands of time I would, but I can’t.”

According to facts of the case read on the record by Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Stanalonis, Guillemette accosted the victim when she was sitting on the couch in his home by placing his hand down her pants and fondling her.

When the victim told him to stop, Stanalonis said, Guillemette did so but tried to kiss the victim.

Guillemette was originally charged with second-degree assault, a third-degree sex offense and sexual abuse of a minor, but a plea deal with prosecutors ensured he would only face jail time for the third-degree sex offense charge.

Stanalonis said the victim’s family agreed to the plea deal.

Judge Stamm said the family’s wishes were “the only reason” he agreed to the plea deal. The maximum penalty for a third-degree sex offense is 10 years in prison.

If Guillemette has any contact with the victim going forward, Judge Stamm said he would do the remainder of his sentence from a state penitentiary.

“I’d have no qualms about sending you to the Department of Corrections,” Judge Stamm said. “You’ve done something she’ll never forget and I find that inexcusable.

“You’re to have no contact whatsoever with the victim… if you see her walk into a store you leave by going out the back way.”

Guillemette was one of two people who worked within the public school system this year charged with a sex offense against a minor.

The other, Scott Strandberg, a paid volunteer who worked as a drum line coach at Leonardtown High School, was charged with having sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl both at his home and on a school bus.

Standberg’s arrest and subsequently being charged with sexual abuse of a minor caused the county’s public school system to institute a system of background checks for volunteers looking for a position working with students.

Strandberg had no criminal record prior to his working as a drum line coach for the school system.

Standberg’s trial is set for late September, according to court documents.

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