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Band teacher gets 30 years for sex with 14-year-old

A former Hammond band director will serve 30 years in federal prison for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student.

James Alan Ciammetti, 43, apologized during his sentencing hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Hammond to the family of the student he was caught having an affair with. He took responsibility for his actions, calling them “irrational and indefensible.”

“I apologize for the pain and suffering I have inflicted,” Ciammetti said, his voice breaking at times during a 10-minute statement in which he also talked about having suicidal thoughts and how he was “radioactive” to anyone around him.

The former Hammond Clark Middle/High School band director was arrested in 2008 after his victim’s father found sexually explicit messages Ciammetti had sent to the girl. A federal indictment claimed he had engaged in sexual activities with her.

Ciammetti pleaded guilty a year ago to one count of enticing a minor and agreed to the 30-year prison term that U.S. District Judge James Moody handed down Tuesday. Ciammetti also paid $26,200, which came from his retirement account, to the girl’s family.

The girl’s parents attended the hearing, but decided not to testify, Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Benson said, because they didn’t think they could speak civilly.

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