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Former Shawnee Mission teacher admits sexual relations with students

A former teacher and cheerleading coach at Shawnee Mission West High School admitted Thursday to having unlawful sexual relations with three male students.

Michelle L. Preston, 28, of Lenexa, pleaded guilty in Johnson County District Court to three felony counts involving students who were 16 or 17 in 2010 when the sexual encounters took place.

Under terms of Thursday’s plea agreement, lawyers will recommend a sentence of 32 months in prison. District Judge Thomas Bornholdt scheduled sentencing for June 1.

“My client has accepted responsibility and looks forward to putting this ordeal behind her,” said her attorney, Scott Toth. “We are hopeful the court will follow the plea negotiations.”

Preston taught psychology and world geography at the Overland Park school. She was suspended last March after the allegations were brought to the attention of school authorities.

On the day her suspension was announced, Preston was seriously injured in a one-vehicle traffic crash in Miami County. Toth said she spent several weeks in intensive care after the wreck and has undergone extensive physical therapy since then.

Preston, who is married, is free on bond pending sentencing.

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