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Bremont sentenced; victim speaks in court

By Mackenzie Wilson
Published On: Dec 18 2012 09:13:51 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 20 2012 11:22:43 AM CST

NewsChannel 21's Mackenzie Wilson was in the courtroom Tuesday when Michael Bremont was sentenced to 19 months in prison for abuse of a student.

The former executive director of the Redmond Proficiency Academy is headed to prison. Michael Bremont was sentenced Tuesday to 19 months behind bars, followed by five years probation.

Bremont is convicted of sexually abusing two former students of his. One of those students, now an 18-year-old, addressed the courtroom Tuesday, saying Bremont stole her innocence and ruined her trust in men.

Bremont's arrest last February shocked students and parents alike.

"As some adults have described him, he is a kid-magnet, very involved with kids," said Deschutes County Deputy DA Mary Anderson. "But as others have observed, often at the same school, what they saw were grooming behaviors."

Before being charged with sexually abusing a teenage girl, Bremont was a shining star in several education systems here in Oregon. Bremont was instrumental in building up RPA in downtown Redmond.

"You've have let everyone down," Circuit Judge Michael Sullivan told Bremont at his sentencing.

Bremont kept his head down for most of the sentencing, choking up when he signed paperwork saying he would report as a sex offender after serving his prison time.

After NewsChannel 21's camera was turned off, at the court's request, the now-18-year-old victim told the judge she was isolated after coming forward. She said the worst part of the ordeal was having people tell her it was impossible that such a great man could do such evil.

Bremont spoke briefly, when given an opportunity, saying how sorry he was for letting down his family, community and the school.

Before his shocking downfall -- one that at first brought disbelief and defense of him from many students -- Bremont was on his way to starting two more charter schools like RPA, in Salem and Wyoming.

His arrest in February put plans on hold and Bremont on paid administrative leave; a month later, the 39-year-old resigned.

Court papers revealed intimate text messages between Bremont and the 15-year-old girl detectives say he sexually abused.

"You have truly earned your prison sentence," Sullivan told Bremont.

RPA encouraged teachers to keep in touch with students via text messages, but after Bremont's arrest, that policy quickly changed.

As he braced for what would come from the charges, a new case emerged. A former student from Central Linn High School, where he was the principal previously, accused him of sexually abusing her. Between the two cases, Bremont racked up more than a dozen charges.

"I don't find joy in sending people to prison," the judge told Bremont. "However, I am happy that I'm perhaps saving another young person from being adversely affected by your selfish desires."

Initially, Bremont pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. Later, he agreed to an Alford plea, meaning he admitted the evidence likely would lead to his conviction.

Bremont also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempting to elude police. That charge stemmed from an incident last October, when Bremont sped away from police reaching speeds of more than 100 mph with a 16-year-old boy in the car.

On top of the prison time, Bremont is required to pay $50,000 in restitution to RPA, after he also entered an Alford plea in a theft case. Detectives say Bremont was stealing computers from the charter school and selling them on eBay. Detectives say Bremont cost the school more than $100,000.

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