Police: Stabbing suspect now facing criminal sexual conduct charges with student

Posted at 9:14 AM, Jun 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-30 16:24:29-04

WYOMING, Mich. -- The suspect in a domestic stabbing earlier this week is now facing new charges of criminal sexual conduct, accused of having as a middle school teacher with a student.

Police say James Chelekis cut his wife's throat during a fight at their Wyoming home Tuesday. Thursday, he was charged with assault with intent to commit murder and carrying a weapon with unlawful intent. Then in court Friday morning, Chelekis was arraigned on two additional charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Investigators say texts, chat messages and photos suggest a sexual relationship between Cheleski and the 14-year-old student beginning June 1, 2016. He was ordered in court not to have any contact with the victim.

Chelekis was a teacher at Crestwood Middle School this past year where the student was enrolled. Kentwood Public Schools say that Chelekis has been placed on administrative leave  pending this investigation.

Michael Zoerhoff, Kentwood Public Schools Superintendent sent a statement:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved. In deeply distressing situations such as this, Kentwood Public Schools is committed to providing support and care for those affected by this case. Our first priority remains the well-being of our students and their families.”

“This type of event is difficult to comprehend; but we are unwavering in our commitment to excellence in learning and safety in our schools. Staff members who violate the trust of our community or who engage in behaviors outside of the values and policies of our district will be held accountable for their actions.”

Zoerhoff says the district is cooperating with investigators.

Bond was set at $750,000 Friday on the new CSC charges. He already had a bond of $1 million on the original assault charges. He was ordered to wear a tether if he is released.

According to court documents filed on Thursday, Chelekis told police he was arguing with his wife Amanda and at some point armed himself with a knife. He allegedly told police that a struggle ensued and he and Amanda fell and she was cut.

Police wrote that Amanda told them that Chelekis intentionally cut her throat and was trying to kill her. Court documents say that there were defensive wounds on Amanda where she was trying to keep Chelekis from stabbing her.

Police also say Amanda is recovering in stable condition and her family is thankful for the outpouring of support.

Chelekis is due in back in Wyoming District Court July 12.