MEMPHIS — A former teacher and assistant baseball coach at Bolton High School pleaded guilty to sexual battery by an authority figure and was sentenced June 4 to six months in prison and six years of probation, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
Michael Lewis, 32, admitted having sexual relations with a 17-year-old student after school in his classroom and at his residence in Bartlett seven or eight times between December 2013 and February 2014. He said he sometimes gave her alcohol when she came by.
Following a hearing on Thursday, Criminal Court Judge James Lammey Jr. sentenced Lewis to five years in prison but suspended all but six months.
Lammey ordered Lewis into custody to serve six months of his sentence day for day. Upon release, he then will be on probation for six years.
Any violation of his probation could result in the defendant having to serve the remainder of his five-year sentence.
Lewis, who has a master’s degree, will never be allowed to teach again, and he will be placed on the Sex Offender Registry.
The case was handled by Asst. Dist. Atty. Jessica Banti of the DA’s Special Victims Unit, which prosecutes cases of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse of child victims, rape and aggravated rape of adult victims, and abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults. VU reviews child victim cases cooperatively with Shelby County’s multi-agency Child Protection Investigative Team.
Editor’s note: For a definition of the sexual battery charge, see §39-13-527 on page 13 of “Statutory Definitions of Tennessee Sexual and Violent Sexual Offenses with Related Codes” or search Tennessee statutes at LexisNexis.com to find Title 39, Chapter 13, Part 5, Section 527).