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Ex-Heart of Illinois teacher given 8 years in prison for sexually assaulting student

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ROTCHFORD

BLOOMINGTON (HOI) - A former high school teacher in McLean County is heading to prison for his guilty plea to sexually assaulting a student.

David Rotchford, who taught at Ridgeview High School in Colfax, was sentenced to eight years in prison, which is the maximum under terms of a plea agreement.

Prosecutors dismissed 16 other charges including that Rotchford, 33, molested a second student.

Judge Casey Costigan acknowledged eight years seemed light, but he said he understood the reasons for capping the sentence, including sparing the victims from having to testify at trial.

McLean County Sheriff's Police said they started investigating Rotchford last June after receiving complaints of inappropriate text messages sent to former students at Ridgeview.

Police arrested Rotchford in July of last year.

Rotchford will have to serve 85% of his sentence, and he'll have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Rotchford was a music teacher at Ridgeview, and he also coached girls basketball.

Howard Packowitz

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