Former teacher faces prison term
Richard Willetts tried to lure kids into lewd acts via the Internet
A former Hawaii drama teacher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for luring a minor in Virginia for sex over the Internet.
In his sentencing Tuesday, Richard Neal Willetts, who taught at Punahou School in 2003-04, also received a 10-year probation term to be served upon his release, a spokeswoman in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville, Va., said yesterday.
Willetts, 26, had initially denied charges in April that he used a computer while living in Virginia, Hawaii and the United Arab Emirates the past two years to try to have sex with eight children and persuade them to engage in sexual acts and pose for photos.
In a deal with federal prosecutors, he pleaded guilty in November to writing sexually graphic e-mails to a 15-year-old student at Western Albemarle High School, where he taught in the 2005-06 school year.
Willetts spent one year in Punahou's student-teacher mentoring program, a type of internship for young college graduates interested in becoming teachers. While at the private school, he served as assistant director of the play "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
The Honolulu school has said that an internal investigation into Willetts found no complaints or concerns from people who worked with him.