Susy Solis, NBC 5 News
John Nathan Campbell confessed to having an affair with a 16-year-old student while he was a teacher at the Episcopal School of Dallas
A former Episcopal School of Dallas teacher accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault of a child Monday.
John Nathan Campbell, 35, received 10 years probation and will have to register as a sex offender.
The other charge of improper relationship with a student was dropped.
Campbell resigned from the school just days after the relationship was exposed in November 2009.
When Campbell walked into the court room Monday, it was the first time the victim, known only as Jane Doe, and he had seen each other since the relationship was discovered by police.
"Her whole body was shaking," according to Jane Doe's attorney Charla Aldous.
In an emotional victim impact statement, the victim who is now 18, said, "Because of you I had to grow up so much faster than everyone else. I understand now that you tricked me and manipulated me… You were in a position of authority and you abused it horribly."
Campbell showed no reaction and did not comment after the sentencing. "He feels remorse. He wished that if he had to do it over again, obviously we would not be here today," his attorney Mark Nancarrow told reporters.
Campbell has a new job and is not sure whether he will stay in North Texas, according to Nancarrow.
As part of his plea agreement, he has promised to never seek another teaching job again.
Jane Doe's family was disappointed Campbell did not go to jail but felt justice was served according to their attorney
"He’s a convicted felon and he's a registered sex offender so I'm grateful for that," Aldous said.
Three months after the relationship was discovered, the girl was asked to leave the school in a move the school said was in her best interest. The parents then filed a civil suit against the school, claiming it didn't do enough to protect their daughter from the relationship.
The jury found that the school was not liable for failing to prevent the relationship but was grossly negligent in how it handled the incident when the relationship was discovered.
Lawyers for the school said they plan to file an appeal.
A statement was released from the Episcopal School of Dallas on Monday afternoon:
“ESD supported full criminal prosecution of Nathan Campbell on both the sexual assault and improper relationship with a student charges. We were appalled and outraged when we learned of his behavior after being notified by Farmers Branch police when the former teacher and former student were questioned in a Farmers Branch parking lot. As soon as school officials learned of the improper relationship, we took immediate action including notifying Child Protective Services and advising the former student’s parents to contact police and Nathan Campbell left the school within 24 hours.
“Despite the lenient sentence for Campbell, one more chapter of this disturbing episode is closing. Nathan Campbell, however, will be labeled as a sexual offender for life.
“The school’s attorneys are preparing an appeal, and we look forward to receiving a just and correct decision from the Appeals Court. In response to Ms. Aldous’ statement, our board chairman John Eagle apologized not once, but twice on the witness stand.”