Panama City- William Crews, 59 years old, remained quiet during Thursday's pre-trial hearing. Keeping his head down, he listened as attorneys finalized the deal that will send him to prison for what will most likely be the rest of his life.
"This is one of the more troubling cases that I've had to deal with," said Circuit Judge Elijah Smiley.
Crews agreed to plead no contest to 14 counts ranging from lewd and lacivious molestation to sexual acts with minors.
"There's an expectation that the children will be safe and that they will be nutured and inspired to reach their maximum potential. The facts in this case indicate that something went terribly wrong," said Judge Smiley.
Bay County's Sheriff's deputies arrested Crews earlier this year after six of his former Deane Bozeman students claimed he sexually abused them.
The crimes began back in 2001. Many of the sexual encounters took place at a storage unit facility along Highway 77. Investigators found in one of them a television set and V.C.R., as well as pornographic videos, and a blow-up sex doll.
Crews initially pled not guilty, but with the trial looming next week, and a number of his victims preparing to testify, Crews decided to take the plea deal.
"Teenage boys, young adults in their early 20s. Very private matter what happened," said Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Hawkins.
Now they won't have to relive the trauma in what would have been a very public trial.
"We really hope that they're going to be able to put this behind them now and lead successful and productive lives," said Hawkins.
The three victims who planned to testify agreed to Thursday's plea deal. Besides the prison time, Crews will also be designated a sexual predator and must pay a $10,000 fine. He will 79 years old when he's released from prison in 2032.