HASTINGS, Mich. (WOOD) - A former Major League Baseball player is headed to prison after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting multiple teenage girls in 2012.
Chad Curtis was sentenced to seven years and one month to 15 years in prison in Barry County Circuit Court Thursday afternoon.
In August, Curtis was found guilty on six counts of criminal sexual conduct. The jury only took two-and-a-half hours to come up with the verdict after the week-long trial.
His victims, all teenage girls, alleged that he inappropriately touched them. Many of the incidents happened at Lakewood High School where Curtis was a substitute teacher and was in charge of a weight room.
During the sentencing, one of Curtis' victims said Curtis was a manipulator and that he knew what he had done.
"I hope you finally think about the truth," she said. "I hope you admit the things you have done ... to yourself."
Unlike at his trial, Curtis chose to speak during his sentencing, maintaining his innocence. He spoke for more than 50 minutes, at one time asking a court officer if he could have some water.
"My goal in moving to that community was to some how, some way be a positive influence on the community, in the community, and to the community. I did not accomplish that," Cutis said. "I failed in my objective to be a positive influence on the Lakewood community and I'm sorry for that."
But Curtis went on with his statement to claim that the victims in the case were not telling the truth when they testified against him.
"[The victim] lives today with the fact that she sat in that chair right over there, she raised her right hand and she -- for whatever reason -- she'd been pressured into saying things that are not true," Curtis said.
Two victims left the courtroom in tears as Curtis mentioned them.
"In part, the truth wasn't told," Curtis said.
A father of one of Curtis' victims said his statement in court added insult to an already difficult time.
"It was hard to take," the father said. "He admitted, but he didn't admit that there was something going on...These girls have been revictimized for 16, 18 months now."
Before Curtis' sentence was announced, the Barry County assistant prosecutor said Curtis wasn't a trainer, but a sexual predator who abused his position.
"He lacks the moral character to ever admit that he's wrong," the assistant prosecutor said.
Curtis is appealing his conviction.
"People thought you were someone of high morals and high integrity," Judge Amy McDowell "You abused that."
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