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Shen teacher pleads guilty to sexually abusing students; faces 12 years

Culver admits guilt

Culver's attorney, Terence Kindlon, was the first to speak after Scarano re-entered the courtroom following a brief intermission.

"At the time of the arraignment, my client entered a not guilty plea, and he would now like to change that to guilty on each count, covering the entire indictment," said Kindlon.

By pleading guilty, Culver now faces a sentencing of 12 years in jail, three years of post-release supervision, mandatory compliance with the state sex offender registry, and an additional $1,370 in fees. Scarano also stated the existing orders of protection barring Culver from any contact with the victims will not carry permanent status.

"No one can force you to plead guilty, you must do so freely and voluntarily," Scarano advised Culver. "You must be aware of your Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. These are felony charges, and if you enter a guilty plea and are convicted of another felony within 10 years, you will go to state prison."

Scarano read the entire slate of charges, including 29 counts of first-degree sexual abuse with a child under the age of 11 from a time period of September 2006 through February 2007. He also read the dates of each of the 29 criminal acts, for which Culver was required to admit his guilt for each count.

Breaking down, Culver sobbed uncontrollably and rocked back and forth on his heels.

"Try to compose yourself," said Scarano, offering Kleenex.

Culver answered the additional charges of nine counts of second-degree sexual misconduct against a child, and eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child "likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child."

Jenkins asked the court to have Culver surrender his teaching license and resign from the Shenendehowa district, as well as having bail revoked and Culver sent immediately to jail. Jenkins had requested on Friday, Nov. 23, that Culver hand over his passport and birth certificate.

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