Former Wichita private school teacher sentenced for having sex with teenage student

Courtesy/Sedgwick County Jail

An ex-teacher who carried on an illegal sexual relationship with a student at a private Christian school in Wichita will serve 34 months in prison, according to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.

Matthew McFarren, 43, of Wichita, was sentenced Wednesday by Sedgwick County District Judge Eric Williams, who also ordered $10,000 in restitution be paid to the victim and her family, Dan Dillon, a spokesman for the office, said by email. McFarren will be supervised for an additional two years after his release from prison, Dillon said.

McFarren was a high-school level religion teacher and assistant soccer coach at Trinity Academy when he had sex with a 16-year-old girl who had taken one of his classes at the K-12 school. Authorities say between August 2020 and March 2021, McFarren met the girl in public places, gave her gifts including an infinity ring and spoke with her about showering together and getting married.

He told her he kept his job at the school so he could be with her there, an affidavit released by the court says.

In Kansas, it’s illegal for a K-12 teacher to have sex with a student enrolled at their school, regardless of the student’s age.

McFarren, who in addition to teaching had served as a youth pastor at several churches, pleaded guilty in June to one count of unlawful sexual relations with a student. He was arrested in March 2021.

McFarren’s defense attorney had asked that he be placed on probation, saying in a written motion that community treatment programs would be more effective at treating McFarren and that experts think he’s unlikely to reoffend. The judge denied the request.