Crime & Courts

Former Heights High teacher gets probation in student-sex case

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A judge on Wednesday ordered a former Heights High School music teacher to serve two years of probation for attempted unlawful sexual relations with one of his students last year.

Alan J. Martens, 26, pleaded guilty to the amended charge in February, just short of a year after allegations surfaced that he had molested the girl at his home and was seen kissing her later at the school, 5301 N. Hillside. He was facing trial on two counts of unlawful sexual relations with a student at the time of his plea.

In Kansas, it is a crime for a teacher to have sex with a student at their school, even if the student is old enough to legally consent. The victim in Martens’ case was 16 or older, according to police and court records.

Sedgwick County Assistant District Attorney Justin Edwards said during Wednesday’s sentencing that while the girl’s testimony during Martens’ preliminary hearing in October differed from what she initially told law enforcement about her interaction with Martens, the physical evidence collected in the case more closely aligned with what she told Wichita police. The charge he’s convicted of says he exchanged sexual text messages with the girl and took her to his home to have sex with her but didn’t follow through.

Martens turned down an opportunity to speak on his own behalf during the hearing. His defense attorney, Jon McConnell, had no comment after court concluded.

The victim in the case was not present.

District Judge Stephen Ternes told Martens during the hearing that he could be sent to prison for 12 months if he failed to follow the terms of his probation, which includes staying away from the victim in the case, avoiding drugs and alcohol and obtaining and maintaining a full-time job. Martens also was ordered to surrender his Kansas teaching license and register as a sex offender.

Martens was in his first year of teaching when he resigned last March, Wichita public school district spokeswoman Susan Arensman has said. He lives in Overland Park now, his attorney said in court.

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker

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