Former Exeter High School teacher sentenced to six years for sex crimes against students

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Almost two years after he was arrested, 38-year-old Matthew Varpness is on his way to state prison.

Tuesday, Judge Gary Paden sentenced the former Exeter Union High School teacher to six years there. He'll also have to register as a sex offender.

"There were charges that ranged from possession of child pornography to sex with minors," said Tulare County Assistant District Attorney David Alavezos.

Alavezos says Varpness plead no contest to all 16 felony counts he faced, almost all relating to sexual relationships he allegedly had with three underage female students between April of 2014 and March of 2015.

Alavezos says the maximum sentence Varpness could have received was more than 15 years, but the judge chose six.

Alavezos says that's not enough, considering the facts of the case and the overwhelming evidence against the defendant. The evidence included many text messages between Varpness and the victims, and statements from the girls (whose ages were 15, 16, and 17 at the time of alleged crimes).

"We feel that a higher sentence was appropriate in this case given the way he went about what he was doing-preying on those children at the school."

The complaint against Varpness details how he allegedly had sex with one of the underage victims, a variety of sexual contact with another, and aside from allegedly possessing child pornography, showed it to the other victim listed in the complaint.
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