A Michigan middle school teacher who sexually abused his 14-year-old female student and then slit his wife’s throat after she confronted him was sentenced this week to 30 to 60 years in prison, PEOPLE confirms.
An official from Michigan’s 17th Circuit Court tells PEOPLE that James Chelekis, 32, was sentenced Tuesday to 30 to 60 years for assault with intent to murder and 15 to 40 years for two counts of criminal sexual conduct after admitting to the crimes earlier in January.
The sentences will run concurrently, and Chelekis will also wear a GPS monitor for life as a sex offender, the court official says.
Chelekis’ now-ex-wife survived the June 2017 attack and has since divorced him, WOOD-TV reports. The attack occurred after she confronted him about extramarital sexual activity — though she was unaware the activity was with the teen girl, Kent County Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Becker tells PEOPLE.
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While she was bleeding, Chelekis read Bible verses to her and texted with his child abuse victim, says Becker. During their text exchange, the teen urged Chekelis to call 911, which he finally did nearly an hour after the attack.
Prior to his sentencing, his ex-wife described the attack in court, saying, “He came out of the closet behind me, my head was tipped back, resting on the back of the chair with my eyes closed. Standing behind me, he kissed my forehead and slit my throat from one side to the other.”
The victim said her training as a nurse enabled her to pinch off her artery so that she wouldn’t bleed out, Becker confirms.
The couple’s children were home during the attack, the Detroit Free Press reported, though they were unaware it was happening and were not harmed.
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On Tuesday in court, the victim said, “Someday when it is developmentally appropriate, I have to tell [the children] their father is not with us because he tried to kill me.”
According to Becker, Chekelis began sexually abusing the teen girl when she was a student in his 8th grade math class. MLive.com previously reported the sexual relationship lasted a year and a half.
Becker praised the teen for encouraging Chekelis to call 911, saying, “She showed a level of maturity beyond her years to be able to do something like this when confronted with a situation like this.”
PEOPLE’s calls to Shawn Perry, Chelekis’ attorney, were not immediately returned, and it was unclear if Chelekis planned to appeal his sentence.