Two GRPS Educators Now Face Charges For Having Sexual Contact With Students

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jun 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-06 15:00:05-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In a matter of just a couple of weeks, two Grand Rapids Public School employees, a man and a woman, stand accused in separate cases of sexually assaulting more than one student.

Tuesday, paraprofessional Kevin Dengel was charged with six counts of criminal sexual conduct. Wednesday, four charges of criminal sexual conduct were authorized against Jamila Williams, a math teacher at University Prep Academy in Grand Rapids.

Meanwhile, some students say they couldn’t believe the allegations against Williams.

“The teacher has been there for three years, and there’s never been a complaint about her before,” said Leon Keely, a University Prep student. “A lot of confusion, a lot of people are really shocked about it.”

Keely said Williams helped a number of students bring their grades up.

Police are concerned there could also be more victims. Prosecutors say they are investigating that possibility.

“Several parents came forward with their students to file a complaint late yesterday (Monday) afternoon,” said a statement from the Grand Rapids Public Schools. “Due to the severity of the allegations, we immediately contacted the Grand Rapids Police Department.”

At Sherwood Park, Dengel also stands accused of criminal sexual conduct. Court documents show that the charges against him involve two girls between age 13 and 16.

They say one of the victims reported that Dengel brushed past her on purpose with his arm and touched her breasts.

The other student said he touched her behind on two separate occasions with his hand.

In addition, that crime may have taken place on school property.

Dengel is charged with six counts of criminal sexual conduct, three involving second degree CSC and three for fourth degree CSC.

Second degree CSC charges can be specific to educators, said Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker, and since it isn’t known what Dengel’s exact work situation was, the prosecutor’s office wanted to make sure all bases were covered.

FOX 17 tried to get comment from Dengel, but couldn’t locate him at home. He is out on a $20,000 bond.

If convicted of the more serious CSC crimes, both Williams and Dengel could face a maximum of 15 years in prison for each count.