A former Newfane High School teacher pleaded guilty to a felony Wednesday for sending explicit text messages and e-mails to a female student last year.
Allan V. Grogan, 51, of Holiday Lane, Hamburg, could be sentenced to as long as four years in prison when he returns before Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III on Dec. 7.
Grogan admitted to a reduced charge of attempted dissemination of indecent material to a minor, a sexually motivated felony.
Although Grogan also had been accused of fondling the girl at school and e-mailing a photo of his genitalia to her, Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello said, "This particular charge deals with words."
Specifically, Donatello said, Grogan sent the girl "graphic depictions of sexual conduct he attempted to get her to take part in."
The computer charge was used to obtain a felony conviction, since the fondling qualified only as a misdemeanor, Donatello said.
New York law does not include any extra penalties for sex offenses committed by a teacher against a student.
The steamy e-mails and texts were sent between Oct. 27 and Nov. 15 to the girl, who turned 17 during the school year. A court affidavit by the girl's mother charged there were 131 cell phone calls or messages between Grogan and the girl between December 2008 and March.
After the girl's parents found out, Grogan was arrested April 21 and resigned his teaching post May 5. He had worked in Newfane for six years.
The girl's parents have filed a notice of claim against the Newfane Central School District, a mandatory preliminary to a lawsuit.
James R. Walsh, the parents' lawyer, said the girl and perhaps her mother may have to give depositions some time in the next month.
The notice alleges that the school district had sent Grogan, a special-education teacher, a warning letter during the 2007-08 school year for his alleged "propensities to 'get close' to female students."
Grogan, who made no comment in court other than to answer Murphy's yes-or-no questions and enter the guilty plea, remains free on $5,000 bail. As a condition of bail, he is barred from contact with anyone under age 18 and from entering school property.
Murphy signed a restraining order preventing any contact between Grogan and the girl, who was not in court Wednesday. Her parents declined to be interviewed.