COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A former Colorado Springs teacher was ordered to serve 10 years to life in prison for repeatedly groping a 12-year-old student in his classroom.
Kenyada Lattimore (Credit: Colorado Springs Police Dept.)
11 News partner The Gazette reported the sentence on Tuesday for Kenyada Antwun Lattimore. Lattimore was a teacher at Ambassador Academy at the time of the crime.
In sentencing him, 4th Judicial District Judge Michael McHenry cited the girl’s struggle to regain a sense of normalcy.
“I’ve seen her cry. I’ve seen her question her identity. I’ve seen her question her sanity,” McHenry said. Under Colorado’s stiff sentencing for sex offenders, Lattimore can be held beyond the 10 years, and up to the rest of his life, until prison officials deem him safe for release.
Lattimore taught English and physical education at Ambassador Academy Learning Center near Airport Road and Printers Parkway in Colorado Springs until his arrest in April 2016.
The victim was just 12 at the time of the assaults. The mother alerted police after she discovered illicit text messages from her daughter's teacher. The mother's report prompted an investigation that ultimately led to Lattimore's arrest.
In the text messages, Lattimore asked his student to "give me more freedom" and not fight him when he tried to touch her. He also asked the young girl for photos.
The victim later told police that Lattimore started flirting with her midway through the school year and said that in early April, he touched her inappropriately. Arrest papers state he tried pushing him away a few times as well.
During the investigation, the victim also told police that Lattimore texted her a few times asking for sex, but she told him no. Arrest papers state that the victim acknowledged sending photos of herself at his request. Lattimore admitted to asking the student for pictures, according to the arrest affidavit, but said he never touched her.
He was found guilty of three of the four counts. Lattimore was found not guilty of the first count, which was sexual assault on a child in a position of trust for touching outside the clothes. As that verdict was read, Lattimore's wife dropped her head in relief. Then, as the next three guilty counts were read, his wife began crying in the courtroom. He was found guilty of two sex assault counts and Internet sexual exploitation of a child.
The victim and her mother spoke with 11 News following the verdict. The victim said she was relieved. They hope that by speaking out, they will encourage other victims to do the same to potentially save others.
“I’m just grateful that God won over in this situation,” said the mother.
In speaking about the case, the mother stated, “It makes me sick ... It makes me sick and angry. It took away her innocence even though it wasn’t all the way, it still took away a piece of her and hurt her in a way that’s going to take her years to recover.”
Now, the family has a message.
“You need to pay attention to your kids and watch what they’re doing, watch their phones," said the mother. "Pay attention to your kids and not just yourself and your phone.”