EHOVE chef in hot water for sex crimes

The culinary arts instructor was arrested in November after Erie County deputies received an anonymous letter detailing his misconduct
Courtney Astolfi
Apr 25, 2014
An EHOVE teacher has pleaded guilty to sex crimes involving a teenage girl who was his student.

Michael Edwards, 48, of the 1200 block of Wickford Place in Huron, pleaded guilty recently to three counts of felony sexual battery. He will face up to 15 years in prison when he’s sentenced in late June, Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter said.

The culinary arts instructor was arrested in November after Erie County deputies received an anonymous letter detailing his misconduct.

His sexual contact with the girl, then 16, began in fall 2012 and ended sometime before January 2013, Erie County Detective Dennis Papineau said.    The pair had sex numerous times in buildings and vehicles at various locations around the county — Sandusky, Huron, Milan Township and, at times, in his family’s Wickford Place home, deputies said. Edwards even touched the teen inappropriately inside the school at least once.

The girl was at the age of consent and the acts appeared consensual in nature, but Edwards’ position of authority — a teacher at the girl’s school — ultimately landed him the charges.

During their investigation, deputies learned Edwards also allegedly sent sexually suggestive text messages to a second student at the beginning of this school year.

Papineau said no relationship came of those messages, as the girl wanted nothing to do with the advances.

Deputies initially arrested Edwards Nov. 14 on one sexual battery charge. Because his case was never taken to a grand jury, his recent plea deal came by way of a bill of information.

Baxter said he consulted with the girls’ parents before doing so.

“It was an opportunity in … resolving this short of a grand jury,” Baxter said. “We spoke with the victim and her parents, and through that process, we (concluded) that three sexual batteries was the appropriate resolution”

Each count carries a maximum sentence of five years.

"There probably could’ve been more (counts of sexual battery), perhaps, if he was indicted,” Baxter said, citing the number of times the pair had sex.

“But three is going to get him 15 years max. It’s highly unlikely he would’ve gotten more than that, so (three counts) will suffice to send him to prison” Baxter said.

Prosecutors have not recommended a particular sentence, instead deferring to the victim and her parents.

“The victim is upset with the whole scenario” Baxter said.

The girl and her parents plan to make a statement at Edwards’ upcoming sentencing hearing, Baxter said.

In an April 17 court document, Edwards crossed out his Huron address and included an apparently new one in Virden, Ill.

Comments

CAST THE FIRST STONE

I thought 16 was underage. is that a misprint

JMOP

No misprint. The law makers are considering to lower the consent to 14 years old.

Commenter

At least he did the right thing and plead guilty.

Babo

Don't be fooled. His charges did not arise by Indictment by way of a grand jury but through a Bill of Information by the prosecutor. In other words Baxter never presented the case to a grand jury where citizens may have been really steamed but cut a deal with him ahead of time.

Sometimes a Bill of Information makes a sense. For example it saves the victim from testifying.

However, this was a teacher and we don't really know if there were other victims and how long he was getting away with abusing his position to prey on young girls. So maybe the Bill of Information by Baxter was actually an effort to protect EHOVE from negative publicity by covering up the fact that the school had a predator on staff.

Look at his photo: Does anyone really believe healthy teenage girls with good self esteem would find this guy desirable? I suspect he preyed on vulnerable girls who may have a history of abuse or household dysfunction. Predators know how to select their victims.

Julie R.

I agree.

Also, not to pick on this 48-year-old guy's looks or anything, but I really fail to see what a teen-age girl would see in him. As I said once before --- he certainly is no George Clooney!

DickTracey

When I saw the photo, I assumed it was Throw Back Thursday, Simon & Garfunkel.

Commenter

Good Point Babo!

Commenter

Interesting though how this reads "The girl was at the age of consent and the acts appeared consensual in nature, but Edwards’ position of authority — a teacher at the girl’s school — ultimately landed him the charges."

candleburner

I don't really know what happened behind the scenes and since he's admitted to these crimes I'm really glad for that but to be honest the other person I feel sorry for is Mike's family. I've worked with Chef Mike on community projects over the years - including a fundraiser for Ofc. Andy Dunn - and he and his wife were both right there with the resources of not only EHOVE but the company that she worked for at the time (not sure if she's still there) and they gave of them freely (I'm sure they asked of course) to help out and Chef Mike had kids at the fundraiser helping out and though I wouldn't have been looking for anything like this I didn't notice anything inappropriate.

So again, while I'm really glad that for once someone that's been caught isn't saying that they're innocent and dragging a trial out forever, in addition to the children that have been hurt by all of this - and even the kids that have been in his class over the years and looked up to him as a mentor - his family has been effected by this too and deserves some thoughtful consideration.

Commenter

I can't imagine what his family is feeling.

queenjhb

A laid back ,hippie wanna be ,easy going, friendly, befriends this young girl . He is a grown man with a family & a responsible position of trust. In 10 years this girl will realize that she was a victim .He used his students trust and respect for him, to seduce one of them.

JMOP

From what I hear of some his former students, he acted like a wanna be Gordon Ramsey. Not laid back at all.

kURTje

Yes Babo. Yes.

woww

I understand why he is being charged, but I think it's absolutely disgusting that this girl is going around school bragging about how she had sex with this teacher and making jokes about him going away. She should be getting in trouble too!

DGMutley

Double woww!

Seen it All

Well, after all... she IS a girl! I wouldn't expect much less from someone with no life experience. I don't even care if it was her that pursued him. He was suppose to be the adult, he is a teacher is who is/was trained on inappropriate relationships with students, and he was the one who should of not let this happened!! And correct me if I am wrong, but when this story broke, there was more than one making the accusations?

Ralph J.
GoBigLex2001

So sad to hear this about Chef Mike. He was a really nice guy. Some people..smh

The girl should be punished as well. Why does the student get to be have sex with a teacher, willingly, while the teacher gets hung up. 2-way street.

JMOP

Because sweetie, when you become a legal adult, and also sign a contract called a Code of Conduct where you work, you're bound to it. See the difference between the teacher and student?

And I'm sad to see you go through this too Lex, and to the people who called the victim a liar, and other derogatory names, to those who were deceived in thinking he would never do this, but not as sad as I am for his wife, and for his victim, whom he hurt the worst in this process.

Just read about the State Trooper Vitte. It took a while to get him fired as well, but eventually the wrongs catch up to ya.

James9903

Despite what happened, and how this case is handled. You have no right to judge him just by this. Not only am I upset that he's going to jail for consensual sex with a student, I'm upset on how some people are responding to it. Despite the crimes, Micheal Edwards was a great teacher and I am disappointed that you would even suggest that he was a predator of any kind. I was taught by this man and no matter what he had never allowed any of his students to have his number, or befriend him on facebook until they were graduated. I'm surprised this even happened because I can hardly believe it.

But that's besides the point. It saddens me to know that this great teacher will be sitting behind bars for 15/14 years. Sexual crimes aside, he was an amazing teacher and he supported all of us and made sure we did our best in school. EHOVE is loosing a great man and I feel sorry for any future Culinary students because they will never get to experience such a great high school career as my classmates and I have.

Mum-of-One

It should not be about women stopping these crimes against them. It should be about men learning that they never had the right to begin with. Using one's authority over a victim is wrong. Safe Harbour has a speakers bureau which offers a teen dating violence program. Our educator can go to schools and educate our teens about teen dating violence. To take advantage of this free service please call 419-621-7785

woww

This girl isn't a "victim" and it sickens me that everyone keeps saying she is. No, he had no right and deserves what he gets, but this girl is farrrrr from being a victim. When you wear clothing showing your butt cheeks and belly and brag about how you screwed a teacher and laugh about him basically losing his life, you are not a victim, you are a name I won't say because I don't want this comment removed.

DGMutley

Triple woww!