WELLINGTON, Kan. (KSNW) – A former Wellington High School band instructor has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for sexual exploitation of a child.
Thirty-year-old Ben Olson pleaded guilty in March to the possession of a nude photo of a 17-year-old girl. He was sentenced today in Sumner County District Court for exploitation of a child.
Sumner NewsCow reports that Olson read a statement in court, apologizing for his actions and listing how he was addressing his issues on his own.
“I am truly sorry for these actions and my betrayal of the victim and her family, my wife, my community and the parents and students who trusted me as their teacher,” said Olson. “I now realize I cannot ignore my own mental health,” noting his recent admission to an area mental health center.
The victim and the mother also spoke in court, expressing betrayal and anger at the former instructor.
“Mr. Olson, you have been a very big part of my daughter’s life, who looked up to you as a friend and teacher,” spoke the mother of the unidentified teen. “She doesn’t have a father in her life and you took advantage of that. She needed that affirmation from a fatherly figure. I will never forget what you did to my daughter.”
Olson was suspended from USD 353 in November when the allegations came to light. He was then formally dismissed by the school district in April.
His sentence should end in November or December 2020. Before this conviction, Olson had no prior criminal record.
As part of his guilty plea, Olson must be registered as a sex offender.