A former Victoria Junior/Senior High School coach and teacher entered an Alford plea and was sentenced Monday in Ellis County District Court regarding inappropriate touching of a student.
Jordan Ottley’s plea agreement reduced the charges to one felony charge of aggravated endangering of a child — a level 9, person felony that is not expungeable -- and three misdemeanor charges.
The amended complaint also included a count of sexual battery, a class A person misdemeanor. According to the document, Ottley inappropriately touched a child in a sexual manner over her clothing. He will be registered as a sex offender for the next 15 years, which should prevent him from teaching again, Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees said.
The plea agreement also included two counts of battery, class B misdemeanors.
Ottley was sentenced by Judge Blake Bittel to three years of supervised probation with Northwest Kansas Community Corrections, outlined in the plea agreement. Ottley also was ordered by the court to continue his current counseling program. Community Corrections could recommend transfer of his probation to court services or an early termination.
Ottley issued a public apology to all affected by his actions preceding his sentencing.
“I just want to apologize,” he said. “This situation does not represent me, how I carry myself personally or professionally.”
Ottley’s defense attorney, Salvatore D. Intagliata of Wichita, said Ottley has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and claimed his actions were partly a result of uncontrolled manic episodes. Ottley previously had been diagnosed with anxiety and placed on medication, which could have exacerbated the symptoms of the underlying disorder, Intagliata said in his remarks to the court.
“There’s no other way to say this,” Intagliata said. “The bipolar disorder and that manic episode is in large part why we’re here.”
Intagliata also said that does not excuse Ottley’s actions or prevent him from wanting to assume responsibility.
The victim was a 14-year-old who was not present at Monday’s proceedings. Drees said the teenager has been the subject of verbal harassment at school regarding the issue, as Ottley was a “popular teacher."
However, the student was not the one who initiated the report — Ottley turned himself in to seek mental health treatment, Drees said.
“They chose not to be present due to the circumstances,” he said.
According to court documents, the alleged violation occurred Nov. 1, 2016, with a reported location of the Victoria Junior/Senior High School building, 1107 W. 10th.
Many people from Ottley’s family and the Victoria school district — of which his father is superintendent — were present at Monday’s sentencing to show support. Intagliata read excerpts from letters of support penned by Ottley’s wife, also named Jordan, and Father Earl Befort of the Basilica of St. Fidelis.
“They have faith in Jordan,” Intagliata said. “They have faith in his ability to do exactly as this court orders.”
The original charges against Ottley included indecent liberties with a child between the ages of 14 and 16, and lewd fondling, a level five felony. Ottley was 26 at the time of the incident, Drees said.