Ex-Teacher Gets 30 Years For Affair With Girl, 14

CROWN POINT, Ind. (STMW) — A former Hammond band director will serve 30 years in prison, although the defendant said he didn’t expect to live longer than two years.

James Alan Ciammetti, 43, apologized during his Tuesday sentencing hearing in the U.S. District Court in Hammond to the family of the 14-year-old student he was caught having an affair with. He took responsibility for his actions, calling them “irrational and indefensible.”

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports.

“I apologize for the pain and suffering I have inflicted,” Ciammetti said, his voice breaking at times during his speech.

However, he also made several comments about his imminent death and referenced June 2012, a date he said was given to him. His attorney, Stephen Scheele, said afterward he did not know what Ciammetti meant by that.

“I do not anticipate to live to see the end of the prison sentence,” Ciammetti said.

During his speech, which lasted about 10 minutes, Ciammetti talked about how he has had suicidal thoughts and how he was “radioactive” to anyone around him.

The former Hammond Clark Middle/High School band director was arrested in 2008 after his victim’s father found sexually explicit messages Ciammetti had sent to the girl. A federal indictment claimed he had engaged in sexual activities with the student.

Ciammetti received psychological testing after he was arrested and was determined to be competent to stand trial. Ciammetti referenced Tuesday to having Asperger’s syndrome. Asked about that later, Scheele said he could not discuss his client’s medical history.

Ciammetti pleaded guilty a year ago to one count of enticing a minor and agreed in his plea agreement to a sentence of 30 years, which U.S. District Judge James Moody granted Tuesday.

Along with the prison time, Ciammetti also paid $26,200, which came from his retirement account, to the girl’s family.

Scheele said after the hearing the sentence was fair, pointing out that it fell in the middle of federal sentencing guideline range.

While Ciammetti apologized for the crime, he questioned the government’s motive in moving him to different federal prisons and the lack of music and other arts in the prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Benson went after Ciammetti for those comments, questioning what Ciammetti has to give up considering what he did to the student.

“What are her school memories going to be filled with?” Benson said.

The girl’s parents attended the hearing. They decided not to testify, Benson said, because they didn’t think they could speak civilly.

–Post-Tribune, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

  • Gotta Be Bleeping Me

    30 years? Let me just say point blank that what this guy did was wrong, it was physically and psychologically damaging to the young lady, and he should be punished for his crime.
    But 30 years? There are child molesters who prey on 5 year olds that get less than half that time. There are men who point a gun at a woman’s face, threaten their lives, repeatedly rape them, and get less than half that time. Both of these examples to me far outweigh the severity of this case.
    If I were his lawyers, I’d be chomping at the bit for a retrial on the basis of an unfair sentencing. Just because it’s supposedly in the “middle range” of sentence length doesn’t make the ruling fair, especially given case law that suggests otherwise.

  • Gotta Be Bleeping Me

    Correction: He pleaded guilty, so there is no trial. It’s still unfair though.

  • FR

    And the story just above this one, PROBATION FOR MURDER in the dog urine shooting.

  • not sayin jus sayin

    30 yrs better than what he would get if it was my lil girl, i would be fine serving rest o my life behind bars knowing i killed this guy with my bare hands, nothing would be more satisfying…….. although i dont think he be safe in prison either, they no like child preds of any type……..

  • Dave

    Let me guess, the band director is Caucasian?

  • dandy

    30 years,say what you want abiout the guy but heres the question of the day. 46 yr old FEMALE band teacher, 14 yr old MALE student,same case..FEMALE teacher get 30 years? 30 months probation tops…

  • it right there !

    46 yr old MALE
    14 yr old lil girl – FEMALE

    end of story. would u say at 14 you gullible. boy or girl.

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