GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A former Michigan teacher has been sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison for slashing his wife’s throat after she discovered evidence of an affair that investigators said involved a middle-school student.
James Chelekis was sentenced Tuesday in Kent County Circuit Court after pleaded no contest to attempted murder for attacking his wife at their home in June. The 32-year-old also pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct related to the student.
The attack came after Amanda Chelekis found evidence of an affair. The couple spent most of the evening discussing the issue before agreeing to marriage counseling. Amanda Chelekis wasn’t aware at the time that her husband’s contact was with a juvenile.
“Standing behind me, he kissed my forehead and slit my throat from one side to the other,” Amanda Chelekis said in court. “The trauma I was forced to endure was horrendous.”
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Amanda Chelekis, who is a registered nurse, was able to contain the bleeding for almost an hour before her husband called for help. She filed for divorce after the attack. The pair has two daughters together.
James Chelekis was a math teacher at Crestwood Middle School. Investigators said he’d traded texts, chats and photos with a 14-year-old girl that suggested they began sexual encounters in June 2016.
In a statement read by prosecutors, the girl’s mother wrote that James Chelekis had manipulated and isolated her daughter in order to start an inappropriate relationship with the girl.
“He robbed our daughter of her innocence and childhood. And that is something that she can never get back,” she wrote.
James Chelekis was sentenced to 15 to 40 years in prison on the criminal sexual conduct charge. The prison term will be served concurrently with the attempted murder sentence.