FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The victim speaks out for the first time as a Valley teacher accused of stealing her innocence is sentenced.
Darren Klassen did not say a word in court Monday but his teenage victim did.
The Fresno Unified School District teacher was arrested last year, charged with two felony counts for having sex with a minor, and, on Monday, Klassen was sentenced to 5 years and 8 months in prison.
"I'm not angry anymore," the victim said. "I wrote a lot of different things that I thought that I wanted to say, but none of it was honest. It was an obligation I was feeling to somebody that doesn't exist anymore."
The judge reminded the court that Klassen was a teacher and the crimes occurred on school grounds.
"We send our kids to school," judge Brian Alvarez said. "We entrust them to the school district and the teachers to nourish their minds not to exploit them."
A court representative read a letter from the victim's parents who believe Klassen groomed students by appearing to be the "cool teacher" on campus.
"Klassen always painted his fingernails black and wore multiple piercing's as his daily attire being an instructor at Fresno High School," Alvarez said. "This seems to have been nothing more than bait for the next impressionable child coming under his manipulation."
Klassen pleaded no contest to five felony counts of sex crimes with a minor. He initially faced 37 for the acts which took place from 2013 to 2015.
The victim was a freshman when the inappropriate acts began.
The longtime English teacher, who worked in Madera before coming to Fresno High, didn't make a statement in court, but his attorney said he is
"He regrets his actions," attorney Roger Nuttall said.