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NO JAIL OR TEACHING FOR HIRSCHFELDER

May 31, 2011

Former Hoquiam choir teacher Matthew Hirschfelder will not serve any jail time, but will not teach again, after being sentenced on Tuesday in Grays Harbor Superior Court.  Prosecutor Stu Menafee says Hirschfelder received a two year suspended sentence after he plead guilty to a charge of Coercion following a sexual relationship with an 18 year old student in 2006.  In return for the suspended sentence, Hirschfelder will drop the appeal of the suspension of his teaching certificate.  The deal ends a five year process that saw Hirschfelder argue that he had done nothing criminal since his 18 year old victim was not a minor.  However, Hirschfelder did face a charge of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor after the Supreme Court ruled that any sexual relationship between a teacher and student can be prosecuted.  Although the case was drawn out over five years and ultimately ended in a plea deal, Menafee tells KXRO that in the end an important standard has been set, sending a message to teachers that such action will not be tolerated.  Menafee says it was unfortunate that the victim in the case had to be put through such a long process, but that finally everyone can move on.

Categories: Harbor News
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