Ex-Clovis teacher gets 38 years in prison for sexually exploiting student

A former Clovis teacher has been sentenced to 38 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting one of his second grade students.
April 30, 2014 2:20:30 PM PDT
A former Clovis elementary school teacher was sentenced to prison for sexually exploiting a student. Clovis police arrested Neng Yang in January 2012.

Yang's days are numbered. 38 years in federal prison for sex crimes he recorded in a locked classroom on the campus of Freedom Elementary School. His 7-year-old victim thought they were playing a game. Now, her family's attorney says she has permanent emotional scars -- the marks of happiness erased by evil.

"I don't think this will ever go away," said the attorney, Warren Paboojian. "I think it's going to take a lot of healing, a lot of praying, a lot of family. But at least we know this sexual predator is locked up now."

Yang admitted to his crimes in federal court, and he'll serve his sentence in federal prison. Now 46, he could finish the sentence before his 77th birthday. But he also faces state charges and a possible life sentence.

ABC30 legal analyst Tony Capozzi says Yang's confessions in federal court could mean prosecutors in the state case can put him on trial without forcing the young victim to testify and relive her agony.

"I think the district attorney in the state court could just bring in the fact that he pled guilty, the agreement he signed and bring in the videotape of the young child he molested," Capozzi said. "That in itself is enough to convict him in state court."

The girl's family is now in psychotherapy; her parents diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Clovis Unified paid them more than $2 million in an out of court settlement, but Yang's betrayal still weighs heavily.

"He manipulated the little girl into believing a lot of things as his position as a teacher," Paboojian said. "It's terrible and hopefully he'll just rot in jail."

Yang's family left the courthouse without comment. Many were in tears during the sentencing.

The former teacher is due back in state court next week.

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