BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A former Idaho high school teacher and basketball coach was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexual abuse of a student.
Jeff Ranstrom, 32, pleaded guilty in November to sexual battery by lewd and lascivious conduct of a child age 16 or 17, The Idaho Statesman reported Tuesday.
Ada County District Judge Jonathan Medema sentenced Ranstrom to four years fixed, meaning he could be eligible for parole after four of the 15 years are served, court officials said. Ranstrom must register as a sex offender after leaving prison, officials said.
Evidence showed Ranstrom sexually abused a 17-year-old girl dozens of times between March and August last year, Ada County Deputy Prosecutor John Dinger said. Ranstrom groomed the girl with gifts and sexual misconduct dating to when she was 15, Dinger said.
“His supporters seem to see this an affair,” Dinger said. “They show little regard for the victim.”
Ranstrom was originally charged with three other felony sex crimes, but those charges were dropped in a plea agreement, prosecutors said.
Attorney Gabriel McCarthy said his client cooperated with police.
“There’s not words to describe how terrible the things are that I’ve done,” Ranstrom said.
Ranstrom was the coach of the Eagle High School boys basketball team.
West Ada School District officials confirmed that Ranstrom resigned from his teaching and coaching positions in September.