Crime & Courts

Former Wellington High band director pleads guilty to sex crime with underage student

The former band director at a Kansas middle school and high school has pleaded guilty to a sex crime involving a child.

Benjamin Leslie Olson, 30, pleaded guilty Thursday in Sumner County District Court to one count of sexual exploitation of a child, said Mitch Spencer, the assistant Sumner County attorney. Olson admitted to possessing a nude photo of a 17-year-old child. As part of the plea deal, four other felony counts were dismissed.

Olson is required to register as a sex offender for 25 years, Spencer said. Prosecution and defense attorneys are recommending Olson serve 16 months in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for July 25.

Olson was arrested in March by the Wellington Police Department and booked into the Sumner County Jail. He was originally charged with multiple sex crimes involving a student, including four counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of unlawful sexual relations between a teacher and a student.

The charges alleged that the crimes occurred between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2 and involved a teenage girl who was a student at Wellington High School. Olson was the band director at the time but was placed on leave when an investigation started.

Olson is no longer listed as the band teacher for the middle and high school on the USD 353 website. School district officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon.

Prosecutors previously said that Olson was accused of asking the girl for a nude photo, possessing that photo, asking for more nude photos and possessing a nude video. He was also accused of engaging in consensual lewd fondling or touching with the girl, hugging and kissing the girl, and sending texts of a sexual nature to her.

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