Former Loggers’ Run teacher Matthew Webster was sentenced yesterday to just short of one year in jail to be followed by five years of probation, and will be registered as a sex offender. The sentencing was reported by WPTV yesterday. We broke the initial story of a teacher arrested for sexting a teen back in January.
Court records show the victim read a statement in court on May 2nd and that her mother testified yesterday. West Boca News is keeping the victim’s identity private.
The mom had this to say about the experience:
Our family would like to thank the Sheriff’s Department, the State Attorney and the unbelievable, wonderful staff at both Loggers’ Run and West Boca High for their immediate and continued support throughout this ordeal. We are relieved that the people in charge did their jobs quickly and thoroughly and that justice was served today.
As a family we were shocked to learn who was behind the messages and pictures, the trust we had for him was immense and we were saddened to see a well respected teacher make wrong choices and abuse his role in our daughters life. We are glad this is now over and she can now have closure and move on from this unfortunate event. This is an action of one person and should have no reflection on Loggers Run Middle School, it is a phenomenal school with amazing teachers and staff.
She also mentioned “victim-blaming” in our conversation. We hope everyone close to this young woman will recognize that the blame in a situation like this falls fully on the adult who is supposed to be responsible, and not on a child.
The mother provided us with a copy of her testimony to the court. Excerpts are below (edited to protect victim’s identity):
The reality of where we are today staggers my mind. What were you thinking?? To violate the trust that my family had in you is so unbelievably sad and so wrong. …
As like [our daughter] we all trusted you and you violated that trust in a huge way. [Name] respected you and trusted you and now we are in a court room awaiting your punishment for pictures that you sent and content that no 14 year old girl should have had to read and requests she never should have received from anyone, particularly her teacher and her coach.
What happened was awful and you robbed [her] of some of her innocence and made her grow up faster than I would have liked. [She] is a tough girl and she will get past this, this incident will NOT define her.
What makes me so angry is that you were so liked, so trusted, so respected that she has been victimized twice – once by you and again by some of her peers and people in our community.
Even though her name was never released there was enough information given to the media that it didn’t take long before her former classmates and teammates figured out it was her. She knows she did nothing wrong I’m sorry I can’t say the same for you.
No matter what you are sentenced to today I can’t erase the images that she saw, the questions she had to answer and the judgment of others that didn’t and don’t believe her.
As her mother I feel like I failed her by not protecting her enough. I didn’t see this one coming. Teachers and coaches are held to a higher standard then most. This shouldn’t happen at all but especially in a place that we send our children to on a daily basis for 13 years. This isn’t a bar. This isn’t a pick up place. This is a school, a place we trust with our kids with people who are supposed to help them not hurt them.
[Our daughter] is young and has her whole life ahead of her to prosper and soar into adulthood with the support of all her family, this equals she will be an amazing successful addition to our society. This event will not define her.
You on the other hand Matthew Webster will look back at this as a choice that changed your life for the worse and that’s good enough for me.
All this being said I/we thank you for not physically harming her or worse. I truly hope you get the help you need and that you can make steps in repairing your life.