MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich., (WXYZ) - An Armada teacher has been charged with First Degree Criminal Sexual Misconduct with a 13-year-old student.
Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith charged 25-year-old Robert Yaek with three counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct. Each count is punishable with a sentence of up to life in prison.
"Parents entrust their children to the care of teachers," said Prosecutor Smith in a news release. "We place our children's lives in their hands every day. "This man's actions are an outrageous breach of that sacred trust. He must account for that breach under the law."
Yaek was also charged two counts of Using a Computer to Commit a Crime and one count of Possession of Child Sexually Abusive Material, both four-year felonies.
Police and prosecutors allege that Yaek engaged in a number of sexual encounters with a seventh grade female student between February and May of this year. The encounters allegedly happened in a closet adjacent to his classroom as well as a rented house in Armada.
“It’s been hard to process," said Melissa Simpkins, who has a son attending Armada Middle School, "And I’m actually thinking I don’t want my children involved in any extra curricular activites.”
“That’s sickening," said Joe Verlinde, whose granddaughter is a former student of Yaek's, "Who would put a child through this?”
“We didn’t know exactly what was going on, but now that we know, there’s going to be like more talk about it.” said Verlinde's grand daughter Jojo Straubel “Mr. Yaek was kind of a fun, upbeat teacher.”
“Very popular [teacher]," said Armada Schools Superintendent Mike Musary, "And I guess they say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.”
Superintendent Musary remains confident his schools are safe, but questions whether a case like this could have been prevented.
“Unless there’s a camera in every room, every classroom, and every closet, there’s really no way to monitor every single thing that happens 24 hours a day." said Musary, "But we're not going to sweep this under the rug.”
Yaek is also accused of sending explicit photos of himself to the student's cell phone.
He has since resigned from Armada School District.