James Ellis, the 57 year old former coach and English teacher at John Marshall High School, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma has been sentenced to 476 years in prison, after receiving a 14 year sentence on each of his 34 counts of rape, sodomy, and lewd acts with a child. Per District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure, the 34 sentences are to be served consecutively. Laughably, and I might even go so far as to say intentionally laughably, Ellis’ attorney asked the judge to consider probation instead.
Ellis was originally arrested in 2007 in connection to the sexual abuse of a 13 year old female student. It is reported that the girl, after Ellis was arrested, would not leave her Mothers side and even requested a bodyguard, because she was terrified of Ellis. The girl started at the school in 2005 and quickly became displaying emotional red flags, which is when the girls mother turned to Ellis, a school advisor, for help. Ellis worked with the girl and eventually became a friend of the family. It is said that Ellis raped the girl in her own home on multiple occasions, knowing that her mother was working late. It is unclear whether any of the sexual encounters were consensual or not, but it is implied that at least some of them were. The sexual relationship between Ellis and the girl ended in 2006.
Ellis admits to having a sexual relationship, citing that it started out innocent at first, and that he just used “bad judgement”. Perhaps raping a 13 year old girl multiple times, whom also happens to be a student of yours in some sense of the word, is quite a bit more than bad judgement, but who are we to judge?
Ellis was released on a $250,000 bond after his initial arrest, but was soon back in jail serving a 5 day punishment for violating his bond conditions. It is reported that Ellis left the following message on his myspace page:
It amazes me how life can go from being so good, to so bad in just a couple of hours! I have always been a person who trusted everyone, and now look where it has landed me! I hope I don’t die before I find out why those I loved and trusted turned on me! I hope it was worth it for you in the end; either getting the school you wanted or the love you thought you needed, because my life, death, and the ruin of my loved ones will forever be on your shoulders.
The judge noted that even though the message was not sent directly to the girl, that it was clearly intended for her to see, and therefore the condition that he not have any contact with the girl had been violated. After his 5 day jail stay Ellis was ordered to not use the internet and to no longer have contact with anybody under the age of 18.
Best of luck to you Ellis. Hope that probation thing works out for you.
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