MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. - A former teacher at a Detroit-area high school accused of having sex with a 15-year-old student was sentenced Tuesday to 6-to-15 years in prison.
Kathryn Ronk, 30, appeared stunned as she was led by deputies from the Oakland County courtroom, The Detroit News reported.
Ronk pleaded guilty last month to third-degree criminal sexual conduct as part of a sentencing deal. She had faced five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Authorities said she engaged in sexual acts with the teenager in classrooms at Bishop Foley High School in Madison Heights. Ronk was a Spanish teacher at the school, north of Detroit.
She also faces trial later this month in Macomb County where other encounters with the boy reportedly took place.
"I'm so sorry for the victim and his family, for the school and the community, my family ... and I'm so sorry for my husband," she said before Circuit Judge Nanci Grant imposed her sentence.
"With treatment, I'm getting better. I know I have to go away but this is a lifelong journey, and I am meeting it."
Grant said she received letters supporting Ronk, but none supporting the teen.
"They were all about you and what you were going through. Poor you," the judge told Ronk. "To ignore a crime and a victim and an ongoing involvement in school, outside school, in a car. You did something you shouldn't have done."
If the case involved a male teacher and a 15-year-old girl "there would be people here hanging from the ceiling trying to get every drop of blood," Grant said.
"But because it is a woman, there seems to be a winking about what happened."
She also said the boy, who is now a sophomore, wrote that he "might be fine in four years" and "might have issues in four years."
"You don't know what you did to him, and he may not realize it for years to come," Grant told Ronk. "Fifteen is 15. He's still a boy figuring out the ways in the world."
Ronk's defense attorney, James Thomas, told Grant before the sentencing that his client will not be in a position to teach or be around children once she is released from prison.
"There's no chance of this happening again," he said.