A Gilbert high school band instructor who pleaded guilty to sexual conduct with a 15-year-old student was sentenced Friday morning to two years in jail and placed on lifetime probation by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge.
The sentence for Jeremy Ross Calvert, 21, was the maximum allowed under a plea deal reached last month.
He will get credit for the 530 days served in jail and must register as a sex offender.
In November 2006, the girl accused Calvert of sexually assaulting her in a soundproof music room at Higley High School during a drum lesson after school, records show.
The girl reported the situation to police two months later.
Calvert first told detectives that he never had sexual contact with the girl, police records show. But during the investigation, he later said he had sex with her and maintained in court that the sexual acts were consensual.
A grand jury charged Calvert in January 2007 with nine counts of sexual conduct with a minor, records show. He initially pleaded not guilty, but later entered a guilty plea to two counts last month.
The girl and her mother addressed the court before the sentencing, and family and friends of Calvert also spoke.
"Everything in my life has been affected," the girl said. "It's made me feel weak and powerless. He took who I was and who I am."
Calvert stared forward with his hands covering part of his face during her statements.
Her mother spoke for several minutes and said Calvert devastated their family and that the sentence feels like just a "slap on the wrist."
Calvert asked the judge for leniency and also apologized for his actions and said the situation has "made him a man."
"I've grown and learned in ways that most probably can't understand," he said. "But (the girl) is a victim, and my actions have caused pain for everyone. I hope everyone can some day soon forgive me."
But Judge David Udall said the trauma Calvert caused the girl and her family along with the abuse of his position as an authority contributed to the maximum punishment.
"Throughout these proceedings, you've tended to minimize your involvement," Udall said.
Calvert was hired by Higley High in 2005. His case caused major turmoil in the Higley Unified School District because he was not fingerprinted before being employed.
After Calvert's arrest, school officials conducted an internal personnel audit that found 36 employees had expired fingerprint cards and 17 more were never fingerprinted.