Crime & Courts

Former Northeast teacher gets probation in sex-chat case

Kevin Christinat's lawyer said his client had an addiction to pornography, which led to suggestive chats with other adults on the Internet.

But when the former Northeast Magnet High School teacher had such a chat with a 14-year-old girl from Washington, he crossed the line into criminal activity.

"He made very bad choice," lawyer Sal Intagliata said during Christinat's sentencing Wednesday.

A Sedgwick County district judge decided that Christinat should serve a year's probation for attempted sexual exploitation of a child. Judge Terry Pullman also ordered the 32-year-old to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years.

Christinat, who taught English at Northeast, already had surrendered his teacher's license and resigned from the Wichita school district, Intagliata said.

Intagliata said Christinat's addiction to pornography and sexually explicit chat was

confined to adults until Christinat began talking to the 14-year-old.

Prosecutor Staci Lane said Christinat had been chatting with the teen on Yahoo Instant Messenger when he asked her to perform sexual acts online for him. The girl refused.

After her mother found a record of the chat, she informed authorities.

Christinat took responsibility for his actions from the moment he was arrested in May, Intagliata said. Prosecutors initially charged him with electronic solicitation of a child. Christinat pleaded no contest last month to the reduced charge of attempted exploitation.

Intagliata pointed to letters of support written by his wife, parents, family members and former students on Christinat's behalf.

"You also have someone addicted to pornography and the Internet, who allowed that to ruin everything he's built for the past 32 years," Intagliata said. "He starts over today."

Lane said the state agreed to recommend a year's probation — less than the two years required by law — because Christinat had no criminal history and his therapist rated him a low risk for repeat offenses.

Pullman ordered Christinat not to use the Internet from home and to have online access only at work. Intagliata said Christinat was now working for a local monument company.

The judge denied a request from Christinat to allow him to continue participating in Facebook.