Former Scotus teacher fined $500 in procuring case

2013-10-11T11:00:00Z 2013-10-12T20:06:49Z Former Scotus teacher fined $500 in procuring caseBy Jim Osborn / Columbus Telegram

COLUMBUS -- A Platte County Court judge said he didn't have much "sympathy" for a former Columbus teacher sentenced Friday morning for his role in procuring alcohol for an 18-year-old former student in an early morning incident last winter.

"I don't have much sympathy for you because the reason you're here is because of what you did,'' Judge Frank Skorupa said in fining Aaron Sasges $500 for supplying the young woman with alcohol in the Feb. 23 incident on a rural Butler County road.

Sasges, 31, pleaded no contest to attempted procuring alcohol for a minor in exchange for the Platte County Attorney's Office reducing the charge from procuring alcohol for a minor.

Attempted procuring is a Class II misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Procuring alcohol for a minor is a Class I misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Skorupa said he saw no reason to "deviate" from his typical practice of fining a defendant $500 for the procuring offense.

Skorupa, following the prosecution's recommendation for a fine only, questioned the judgment of a teacher with a master's degree supplying alcohol to a teen.

"It wasn't a very smart thing to do to be riding around with an 18-year-old girl drinking alcohol," Skorupa said.

Sasges taught business and computer classes and coached basketball and track at Scotus Central Catholic High School in 2011-12.

Prior to sentencing, Sasges told the judge the February incident and its aftermath had taken a toll on himself, his family and friends.

"It's not been an easy road ... it's been very, very embarrassing. I'm looking forward to having it over," Sasges said.

Defense attorney Galen Stehlik of Grand Island said his client had no criminal history whatsoever and asked the judge to impose a fine only. He said his client was currently employed as a teacher, but did not identify his employer.

The Hebron Journal reported on its website in late August that Sasges was the new business teacher at Thayer Central.

The woman involved in the case, who has since turned 19, was initially cited for minor in possession of alcohol. She was not charged in the case.

The young woman was a former student of the teacher and coach while he was at Scotus, and graduated from the school last spring.

County Attorney Carl Hart said he considered the teen a victim in the case.

Sasges resigned from Scotus at the end of 2011-12 to accept a teaching and coaching position at Grand Island Northwest High School. He taught business classes and coached cross country, track and basketball at the school.

Grand Island Northwest officials said Sasges resigned his teaching position at the school April 8. The business teacher and coach had been suspended with pay following his procuring arrest.

Sasges taught at Scotus for at least three years before resigning to take the job in Grand Island.

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