Former band teacher gets one year jail for sex with teen studentAround the City, Latest Issue Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
“All this love ever really was – was sex, deceit, manipulation.”
That’s what a young man angrily told a judge Feb. 24 that his band teacher at Bonita Vista High School had seduced him at age 16, which “has forever changed my life.”
The victim, now around 23 years old, did not report the 2010-11 sexual relationship with Jason Jerome Mangan, now 38, until about seven months ago. “My life has been turned upside down with self-loathing, depression, anxiety,” he said.
At the end of the almost 90-minute sentencing, Mangan was spared prison, but was ordered to spend one year in county jail by Chula Vista Superior Court Judge Francis Devaney on terms of three years probation.
Mangan was allowed to remain free on $325,000 bond, but must surrender March 9 to report to jail. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender with law enforcement for the rest of his life.
Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Matzger asked for a prison term of three years and eight months. Mangan had pleaded guilty Dec. 29 to oral copulation of a minor and penetration with a foreign object on a minor. Eleven other sex charges were dismissed.
His attorney, Samantha Greene, told Devaney the former music teacher has “done a lot of good in his life,” adding “this conduct is limited … to only one person.” Greene said the sex registration is “something he will be branded with for life.”
“He will never get in trouble again. He has learned his lesson and has acceptance of responsibility,” said Greene. “He is a good person who made a big mistake.”
Mangan lost his job he had held since 2006 after charges were filed in August 2016, but he remained popular with former students. The courtroom was filled with 27 former students who wore stickers that said “I stand with Mangan.” There were approximately 40 other former students who stood outside the courtroom as supporters.
Two former students and a mother of a band student testified Mangan was a positive influence upon them. The mother, who identified herself as Mona, said Mangan taught “the love of music” to her son and he is now becoming a music educator.
“He worked more unpaid hours than he worked paid hours,” said Mona. “Students learned they were valued.”
“He changed students for the better,” said a former student named Rebecca.
Mangan appeared to be near tears as he said this to the judge: “I will never live down the shame and embarrassment I have brought onto my family and my friends, onto my beloved partner and most painfully onto my students and parents from my program, who were my entire universe for over a decade.
“I can never apologize enough to (the victim), his family and my school,” said Mangan. “I am a good person. I made a horrible mistake that will never be repeated.”
At the start of the hearing, Devaney said he had not made up his mind as to whether Mangan should get prison or local jail time with probation. The judge was very concerned when he heard the father of the victim say he went to the principal in 2010 to complain about Mangan’s frequent personal calls to the student.
The victim’s father said Mangan promised in writing to stop contacting his son, but he continued to pursue him with “inappropriate sexual behavior in the classroom behind closed doors.”
The prosecutor said the victim was aware Mangan was openly gay. “They would hug and feel each other’s erections,” said Matzger. She added Mangan would “spoon” and “dry hump” with the victim, and the sexual penetration did not occur until after he turned 17 years old.
The victim said Mangan was initially charming, and added, “I know the man when the doors are closed.” Looking at Mangan, the victim said “I never want to hear from you again.”
Greene told the judge as a result of his felony convictions, Mangan can never teach children again. “This is his first offense. One chance on probation and he will be successful. He won’t let anyone down,” she added.
“Prison is reserved for people who are dangerous. You have affected most people positively,” said Devaney. “The law recognizes people can make mistakes.”
Devaney ordered a 10-year restraining order banning contact with the victim. He ordered Mangan to complete sex offender counseling and ruled out serving a sentence in work furlough. He gave him credit for two days previously spent in jail and ordered him to pay $1,433 in probation costs. He was fined $1,744.
The victim’s family filed a civil suit against Mangan and the Sweetwater Union High School District Dec. 30, 2016 and it is pending.
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