Jaw-dropper: Teacher claims young student wasn’t ‘damaged’ when her husband sexually assaulted him

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ROSE CITY, Mich. – When Rose City middle school teacher Neal Erickson pleaded guilty to molesting one of his students a while back, most observers expected an open-and-shut case with the school community rallying around the teenage victim.

Neil-EricksonAnd in some ways it was. Erickson was sentenced to 15-30 years in prison for carrying on a sexual relationship with a boy in his young teens between 2006 and 2009. That should have been the end of the horrific tale.

But seven teachers kept the controversy alive by rallying behind the rapist, going so far as to write letters to the sentencing judge, seeking leniency on his behalf. The letters were posted on a local blog, WBRC Teachers.

Perhaps the most disgusting letter was written by Erickson’s wife, Toni Erickson, a 15-year educator currently teaching at Ogemaw Heights High School. While her pleas on behalf of her husband may not be surprising, her suggestion that the victim was unaffected by the abuse is more than a little disturbing, particularly coming from a teacher.

“As for punishment, because I know that is something the community expects, hasn’t he been punished enough? He is losing a job he has held for 17 years and losing all future career potential as a teacher. …

“I have seen many delightful students who have been damaged by horrible events in their lives. While I acknowledge that Neal’s conduct with [the victim] was wrong, I do not believe he was damaged by Neal’s actions and I base my opinion on my personal interaction with [the victim], both before and after Neal’s actions. However [my daughter] very likely could be. Please don’t punish her by his absence in her life.”

So the real victim in the case is the rapist’s daughter, not the young student who was assaulted? This lady needs her head examined, and perhaps her teaching license permanently revoked.

There were other troublesome letters, as well.

Rose City Middle School English teacher Sally Campbell wrote to the court, “Please take into consideration his pleading guilty so as not to put this student through any more than what has already occurred.”

How charitable of the rapist to not force his victim to testify. Perhaps he deserves the keys to the city for that one.

“Although Neal has pleaded guilty to a single charge of criminal sexual conduct, evidence of this being a one-time incident reaffirms the fact that he is not a sexual predator,” wrote 4th grade teacher Marilyn Glover.

The abuse occurred over a 3-year period, according to various news reports. Without getting into the physics of it all, it’s highly unlikely it was a “one-time incident.”

‘Extremely poor decisions’

Rose City Middle School social studies teacher Kathleen Scheel believes the loss of his teaching certificate and parole should be sufficient punishment for Erickson.

“I am aware that he made some extremely poor decisions in carrying on an inappropriate relationship with a past student of his. I believe the loss of his teaching certificate and the parole restrictions that will limit his freedoms for the rest of his life are steep enough of punishments that a long incarceration term is not warranted on top of that.

“Our community’s children are not at risk of Neal’s presence – he is not a predator. Rather he found a strong emotional tie to one particular individual who was too young to be experiencing that type of relationship,” Scheel wrote.

Scheel added that out of the 1,000-plus students Erickson has taught, “not a single one filed a complaint against him.”

“He has been, and will be, greatly missed in the educational arena. This, in and of itself, has been a huge punishment to Neal,” wrote Ogemaw Heights social studies teacher Amy Huber Eagan, whose husband, Mike Eagan, is on the school board.

Many residents have called for Mike Eagan’s resignation or recall because he sat with Erickson’s family at the sentencing.

“I am asking that Neal be given the absolute minimum sentence, considering all the circumstances surrounding this case,” Amy Huber Eagan wrote. She added she hopes he will stay in the county jail instead of being sent to a prison facility.

Retired band teacher Harriett Coe wrote in her letter defending Erickson, “I have faith that the right course of action will be considered by the justice system.”

Rest assured, Ms. Coe, it was.

Music teacher Carol Rau defended Erickson, and added, “May the court discern with wisdom as it seeks to know the truth and judge with equity.”

Rest assured, Ms. Rau, it did.

The teachers’ shocking defense of the admitted rapist was heartbreaking to the victim’s family.

“ … When (the letters of support from teachers) came out in court we were angry and sick to our stomachs,” the victim’s father, John Janczewski, told EAGnews.

“We can’t believe (educators) who took an oath to protect and be there for the child would turn a blind eye,” he said. “We promised ourselves we’re not going to stop until the (teachers who supported Erickson) are fired and this board member is recalled.”

The judge echoed that sentiment.

Upon receiving the teachers’ letters, Judge Michael Bumgartner said, “I’m appalled and ashamed that the community would rally around, in this case, you,” referring to Erickson. “What you did was a jab in the eye with a sharp stick to every parent who trusts a teacher.”

The teachers’ actions in this case have shaken the West Branch-Rose City community to its core.

We at EAGnews stand with the family and community seeking justice for not only the victim, but for all students whom enter the classrooms of West Branch Rose City Area Schools.

At its upcoming August 19th meeting, the school board will be deciding whether or not to fire these teachers. We anticipate a large crowd will turn out to voice their opinion and we will be there to cover it.

By Kyle Olson at EAGnews.org

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  1. ILoveTaterNuts says

    Jerry Sandusky is wishing he would’ve married this nut job.

  2. Steve Harmon says

    So, rape is ok? What is your address, I only want to do it once, no big deal, after all your husbands in jail anyway. As our wonderful former Sec of State says “what difference does it make?”.

  3. Sagebrush6 says

    $50 bucks says Toni Ericson is a Democrat. That’s their way of thinking. Prove me wrong.

  4. Bruce in AZ says

    LBGTQ—-and don’t forget the “P”.

  5. Cam says

    With today’s Internet technology, the seeds of liberty can be spread faster, repeated more often, and affirmed to a wider audience than ever before.

  6. Skeptical_Boomer says

    The teaching profession has become a cult. They defend their own against all who are not “enlightened” members of their cult. Their defense of this man is revolting.

  7. edgineer says

    Homosexuals are transforming the country into a sexual pig pen.

  8. Bratberley says

    What the heck happened to Right and Wrong? We have got to get this country back to a moral and realistic state! Political correctness and the “woe is me” crap is destroying us! Kids and Adults need to be responsible for their wrong doings and pay the consequences!! We can all thank our wonderful government leaders, media and hollywood for helping this along, but I must say it should start at home with the parents!

  9. throwedoff says

    It is more than likely more victims will turn up. Now that this case is out in the open any silent victims may begin to come forward. A three year span of assault indicates that this was not a one time incident. I work around child molesters every day at work. 99% are incarcerated for more than one count and one victim!!!

  10. KCNole says

    As a teacher I’ve had plenty of heated arguments with commie-tard teachers at work
    but this one would get violent quick. I’m talking clean out your desk
    no matter what the Superintendent says or I will feed you to the pigs
    and all they will find are the fillings mailed to the crackhead mother
    who spit you out.

  11. cowboybobmt says

    the transformation of the public “education” system is just about complete i’d say. they don’t turn out educators these days for the most part…they might as well be federal bureaucrats beating the drum for every whacked out social behavior they can catalog and develop a curriculum for. i say most part because there are still many who think critically and don’t buy into this garbage, but much like a flag-waving conservative in Hollyweird, they keep their mouths shut for fear of losing work. It’s a shame it’s come to that but it seems it has in the majority of the country. this crap will continue for a generation at least to purge these people from the system.

  12. Sharon Jeanguenat says

    And, they wonder why so many people are going to home schooling instead of public school! This is disgraceful. I’d about bet that they won’t be able to fire any of these teachers.

  13. Yayalinda says

    There are no words that can describe the feelings of the victim and his family when they found out that many other teachers were defending the predator/teacher. My heart goes out to this innocent young man. I’ll be praying for him.

  14. gwedem5995 says

    I agree Barbara Bergan. It is no wonder I have little respect for so many teachers anymore.

  15. rs1123 says

    Isn’t it amazing, if a child brings a butter knife to school or even mentions a gun or nibbles a pop tart into such a shape the school goes berserk, calls the police, has the family home searched, whatever. But let them sexually molest your child and ‘it won’t hurt them’ and so-called teachers will defend the abuser. Disgusting. Well, liberals, are you happy with what you’re doing to our schools yet?

  16. rs1123 says

    If my son was in a grade school class taught by one of those who wrote the letters, I would probably pull him out of the class rather than leave him with someone who thought sexual abuse would not hurt him. If my son was in a high school class with one of those teachers I would try to get him out; failing that I would make sure my son knew that this teacher was mentally and morally deficient, and why.

  17. pysco says

    Not one of these teachers should be teaching in any classroom, fire them all. We, as parents, send our young to be educated, not to be molested. All of these teachers has violated positions of trust, Geld this bastard, and spade and females that back him…. there is no place for sexual preditors and those that would abet them.

  18. Hope Motte says

    Are they all child molesters? Might as well be!!! I would be looking into their pasts too. This world is so screwed, and it seems there is nothing we can do about it when even teachers stand behind a Man who sexually molests a child, and they want him to get away with it. Sick, Sick, Sick.

  19. John Beam says

    Actually, I thought that the sickest letter was from the one called “Sandi Lee.” She keeps saying that what this monster did was “illegal,” as if it could be compared with a moving violation of jay-walking. She’s also “proud” of the creep. If you haven’t seen it, go back and find it on the WBRC Teachers blog about this case. You won’t believe your eyes at how deranged and incredible this person is.

  20. bobmead1960 says

    This is what PREDATORS do, portray the victim as someone who is not important. That is how we do such wicked and evil things against others. Belittling the victim and accentuate the importance that satisfy themselves is paramount.

  21. Seriously?! says

    There’s not a chance in hell I would let my kids back into those classrooms until those teachers and board member were permanently removed from the education system. I kept waiting for the disclaimer at the end of this report saying this was not a true story. Unbelievable.

  22. Laura Lee Davis says

    Erickson got a fitting punishment for the crime He committed. Now, his supporters should be held accountable for their attempts to facilitate, abet, and encourage such acts by other teachers. Our schools have a ZERO tolerance for drugs and weapons. Why not sex abuse? Wake up and take care of the young lives you are entrusted with!

    1. cvxxx says

      There is also another who yet has not been arrested.


  23. $12994363 says

    THIS, my friends, is the face of today’s educator. Should you not know why our kids have been failing miserably at what is, at most, necessary knowledge (such as understanding what the Constitution is and means), now you have an idea why they support such as Obama.
    Weep, friends, for as long as these people do what they do our children will fare no better.

  24. dad666 says

    These teachers should at a minimum loose their jobs as well as any certifications they may have obtained.

  25. Centurion ' says

    As a Michigan resident who had a cottage in the Rose City area I highly suggest you throw the book at this pervert and quick dismissal of these supporting teachers to show, if nothing else, to students that this activity will not be tolerated and those who condone such activity will not be around them. This is not only a moral issue its a safety issue for the student body.

  26. gvette says

    LOL…are they democrats, or republicans?

    1. $12994363 says

      They’re teachers- in Michigan- and support a sexual predator. THAT should answer you question. IF it didn’t, consider what OTHER destructive behaviors have been imposed on us by introduction/support of the Teacher Unions that are not conducive to raising a child. And if that doesn’t help, think Democrat. You’ll be close, I would think. (Besides, if they were Republicans the press would have most certainly pointed it out, no?)

      1. gvette says

        Trust me evantoo, I was thinking Democrat!

  27. Buck Sunset says

    Schools are becoming a career choice for pedifiles much like the C. Church of the 1950’s to 1980’s

  28. CalCin says

    So, if this happens to one of his supporters children they would be fine with it?

  29. Silimaure says

    I am sure HE will feel like that abuse felt like for that poor child while HE is in jail.

    1. cvxxx says

      The new reports do not substantiate that conjecture.

      1. Steve Harmon says

        Does the fact that he pled guilty to child molestation help to substantiate that for you? Are there, in your mind, degrees of child molestation that are acceptable? The answer to that question would help us all to understand the reason for this protracted conversation.

        1. cvxxx says

          How much law do you know? There are some items in law to pay attention to. If you do not study you will be mislead.

          1. Steve Harmon says

            I will try this one last time. He pled guilty to child molestation. What level of child molestation is acceptable to you?

          2. cvxxx says

            The law does not have to be logical or make sense when examined but to invoke knee jerk reactions.. People do not pay attention. So when they invade your cell phone records without a warrant they will point to a law passed that no one paid attention to.

          3. Steve Harmon says

            Right, someone stealing my cell phone records (which I’m pretty sure this child rapist didn’t do) is as bad as some perv raping a child. Wow, what a fuc*ed up mind you have. Again, he, by pleading guilty, said, “I did it, I raped yhat child”. Why is his pleading guilty so hard for you to accept? Oh, I get it, duh, you’re just f***ing with me, good one, you fished me in. Thanks for that, I’m done playing, you win. lol

          4. cvxxx says

            Get an education. Your are too blinded to see. As you will remember this down the road you can’t say you were not warned.

          5. Steve Harmon says

            Now we are getting somewhere. Please, please tell me what I’m missing from this story.

          6. cvxxx says

            First we the voters allow laws to be passed with definitions that are outrageous like NDAA. Free speech? Hmmm. The NSA tactics was revealed in 2006 but for some reason no one paid attention. Why it did not seem to effect me or mine. Only when we figure out that it does then do we act.

          7. Steve Harmon says

            Wow, once again you brought nothing, of relevance to the table on the topic of child rape. It must be time for your next NAMBLA meeting. Have a nice evening.

          8. cvxxx says

            Start googling and educating yourself.

  30. Ron Bell says

    I hope they fire every one of them and his wife too!! I live with a gal who was Raped when she was 5 years old and she still has nightmares about it and does not trust strangers and it stems from that incident and guess what… She is 60 years old now!! That “teacher” wife has no idea what damage has been done to the victim of this PREDATOR!!!

    1. cdansreau says

      Only that child???? This is the type of crime where people are hesitant about coming forward
      because of the shame felt by it. There are probably more people affected.
      Frankly i would have had a restraint order put on the wife and supporters from talking to the kid after the incident.
      I hope he goes to prison and meet some folks who will treat him like he treated others.
      I hope the daughter finds a new father figure with morals.
      And i hope his supporters are fired and investigated for similar crimes.

    2. cvxxx says

      There is a very big difference and how the situation was handles can have lasting impressions.

      1. Steve Harmon says

        What it your problem?

        1. cvxxx says

          Being educated and looking for all the facts.

    3. Sagebrush6 says

      Perhaps – she is a predator also ? Some checking into her life might prove enlightening.

  31. Barbara Bergan says

    Those teachers who said he will be greatly missed should join him in lock up.

    1. 7papa7 says

      I agree. I also find it interesting that if had been a woman instead of a man he probably would have gotten off with probation or the most minimum sentence possible. Talk about a double standard. He got what he deserved but why don’t women who do the same thing? I personally would like to see these crimes become death penalty cases they are so severe and so damaging to the child.

      1. cvxxx says

        Exactly! It is gender discrimination. But I see 30 yeqar as too long at 30 to 40000 dollars per year. Part is that males in this society are supposed to want sex. Females are not but we have never had to deal with power dynamics and sex. this society buries it’s head in the sand. I myself would put in strictures that would take care of responsibility as if what would happen if the teacher became pregnant by the “child” (yeah a 16 year old is not a child). This whole thing needs investigation but where would we find unbiased researchers? (let’s face it many people want their preconceived notions reinforced)

        1. 7papa7 says

          Agreed, the cost is outrageous but if the death penalty is immediately taken the cost would be minimal. IMHO take them from the trial to the needle don’t even bother putting them up overnight.

          1. cvxxx says

            I would need to know a lot more about this case. I myself after reading these wide ranging laws wonder a bit. I want to know everything before judgement. I study history and mammalian behavior. So I have an interest in this. I was in Seattle when the Letourneu case was being tried.
            To my observation she was under a hormone storm and was as if drugged. We did not study this and at the time the judge did not have a hormone with other medical, physical evaluations. Important data was lost. Could there be other reasons that we ignore that place people in situation where they are captive to nature’s design? Is the an treatment that would be of use?

          2. 7papa7 says

            Their isn’t a lot to know, he pleaded guilty to molesting the child.

          3. cvxxx says

            Oh yes there is. What child what age etc. That is not discussed. The devil is in the details. Of which we have none.

          4. 7papa7 says

            He would have been around 13 because it was one of his students and he taught middle school so that is 7-8 grade.

          5. Sagebrush6 says

            Get a rope. Let the parents dole out justice in all rape cases.

          6. 7papa7 says

            Great idea.

          7. Steve Harmon says

            If you want to know more, what’s stopping you? There is this thing called Google.

          8. Steve Harmon says

            Mammalian behavior is not a defense. We are supposed to be civilized human beings, there are laws that govern us, If you choose to live in society there are consequences for illegal actions.

          9. cvxxx says

            Really lynch mob mentality does not denote civilization.

          10. Steve Harmon says

            You’re right, neither does child rape.

          11. cvxxx says

            That is also an assumption. Being a vast difference in reality.

          12. Silimaure says

            [email protected] I see from your numerous postings that YOU seem to side on the child rapist side. Along with his family. Which leads me to believe that you may have knowledge of the family. Or similar cases.

            Either that or YOU have never had a child who has been abused, or raped. In which case I hope you never do. “Hormone Storm”? is a poor excuse for anything. Having sex with a 12 year old is STILL against the law. You or anyone touches my 13 year old grandson, and you would end up in prison. Having sex with my young teen grand daughter would grant you the same privilege.

            This kind of damage done to these children lives on into adult hood. Spreading to the children that they do have later in life. I have seen this first hand. So don’t stand there with your “studies” and tell us that you think this should be ‘studied!” like the child is an experiment.

            He pled GUILTY to raping children. Over and over. Yet people, like You, stand by him. . Also making the child/children feel damaged. I only hope that you or your child/children never have to go through something like this. Where you will have to be ‘studied’ by someone like you.

          13. cvxxx says

            First of all there is the law which may not be what one expects. when reading law if is clear that many legal definitions have little to do with actual harm. In some cases there are other forces at work that the system never explores. Ignorance of our species in never and excuse when we do have some of the answers. I want to know everything.

            Each case is very different. But as far as species survival which I am most interested in there are questions that need to be explored. I became interested with the hormone connection watching the Seattle case. To my observation there was a person under a hormone storm.. We know that there are unexplained often insane behaviors attributed to “love”. The question is what is it? How do we help protect people if it is possible? Not everyone has these feelings to that degree. But the question need to be answered. What if there is a way to prevent weird attractions. Think about helping people avoid a hormone biochemical storm. We know the the body can produce chemicals that are not understood. The human body can produce drugs that are most powerful The case of granny tearing off a truck door etc. Yet the bone structure should not accept that stress. I think that it is all connected. There is something not understood,yet. Species survival is most important.

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