Sex with student: No jail, no sex offender registration for Clovis High educators

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Two Clovis High School educators won't have to do any extra jail time or register as sex offenders even though they admitted having sex with a student. (KFSN)

Two Clovis High School educators won't have to do any extra jail time or register as sex offenders even though they admitted having sex with a student. 33-year-old Matt Pena and 30-year-old Dwayne Andrews both learned their punishments Wednesday.

Andrews and Pena hadn't publicly said a word about their actions until their sentencing hearings when they both acknowledged serious errors in judgment. Both men will serve three years on probation, but otherwise avoid harsher punishment.

One after the other, the former Clovis High assistant football coach and the former assistant baseball coach faced their faults. Dwayne Andrews and Matt Pena -- both educators in their thirties -- are now convicted felons for having sex with the same underage student. Both men were contrite as the time for punishment arrived.

"First, I wish to apologize for my actions," Andrews said. "I allowed my emotions to cloud my judgment and I made some bad choices."

"I apologize sincerely to the families that I've hurt," said Pena. "Not only the victim's but my own."

Pena's defense attorney, Michael Idiart, who has known Pena since coaching him in Little League baseball, said his client stepped outside of boundaries he knew were there.

"I know his parents very well and I know they taught him how to act," Idiart said. "He failed in that regard in this matter and he acknowledges that. When people send their children to school, they expect their teachers to have a high standard and to have the strength not to engage in this sort of conduct."

Prosecutors say Pena's relationship became public knowledge at Clovis High early this year, prompting an investigation outlined in search warrants Action News uncovered in Feburary. Their activity dated back a few months, beginning when the victim was a 17-year-old student in Pena's photography class.

"In my position as an educator, I failed greatly in the respect of other people and what I did and I take full responsibility for what I did," the former teacher said.

As police interviewed the victim about Pena, Andrews started texting her panicked messages about whether he was in trouble too. The former Fresno State linebacker started a sexual relationship with the girl several months earlier, also while she was 17.

"I'm truly sorry for the damage that I caused, especially to the victim," he said.

Neither of the men will have to register as a sex offender or serve any more jail time, but Andrews will have to do 90 days on a work program and Pena will spend 120 days under house arrest. They also can't teach or coach in public schools ever again.

In explaining the lack of jail punishments, Judge Jon Skiles cited their lack of prior criminal records, their quick admission of guilt, and their good standing in the community before these acts. But he emphasized the men committed criminal acts, not just bad choices, and emphasized the teenager involved should not feel at all to blame.

"I want to make sure it is crystal clear," Judge Skiles said. "The victim in this case does not carry any of the responsibility for why we're in a criminal court at this point."



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