A former teacher in North Carolina was sentenced to prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to trying to get two teenage students to have sex with him, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
Tyrus Khalil Cromartie, 27, was sentenced to 10 to 12 months in prison, and a suspended sentence of 10 to 12 months, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. He pleaded guilty to two counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor, and will also have to register as a sex offender for the next 30 years.
Tyrus Khalil Cromartie, 27, sent text messages to two female students, who were 13 and 14. He told the girls to delete the messages, prosecutors said. https://t.co/9XKfII3p94
— Winston-Salem Journal (@JournalNow) June 8, 2021
As a math teacher at Quality Education Academy, Cromartie sent text messages to two female students, who were ages 13 and 14 at the time, suggesting possible times they could meet to perform sexual acts, including a threesome, according to the Winston-Salen Journal.
The mother of one of the girls had reported the teacher to Winston-Salem Police in late October 2019 after she took her daughter’s phone away as punishment and found messages from Cromartie, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. The messages indicated another girl was involved.
Investigators interviewed the girls and after an examination of their phones, found that the teacher had asked them separately or in a group text to have sex with him, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. He also requested pictures and asked if they would have a threesome with him, Assistant District Attorney Kia Chavious said.
Chavious said both girls were students at the school, but nothing ultimately happened in person between them and Cromartie, although the teacher suggested meeting times that would allow them to avoid getting caught. He also reportedly told the girls to delete the texts.
The girls said they stopped responding to Cromartie texts when they took an inappropriate turn, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. One of the girls reportedly did not know how he got her contact information.
It was unclear whether Cromartie resigned or was terminated from the school. Chavious said he continued working at the school after police notified the school about the investigation. He initially denied sending the text messages, but when confronted with the messages, acknowledged he had sent them and recognized the sexual nature of the texts, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
According to Cromartie’s attorney, the former teacher has had 11 appointments with a counselor since December.
“He is very apologetic to the court, to the families of the two young ladies and to his family,” Harold Eustache, the attorney, said, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. “He is distraught over this.”
Numerous teachers have been charged with sexual misconduct involving students throughout 2021.
A former teacher of the year at a public high school in Alabama was arrested in May on multiple charges including rape and sodomy of a student. (RELATED: Former Teacher Of The Year Arrested On Rape And Sodomy Charges Involving Student)
In April, a teacher at a New York high school was arrested on charges that she raped a 15-year-old male student.