A former gym teacher in Ohio was sentenced to just 8 years in prison after being convicted of 34 charges of gross sexual imposition.

According to a report from KTXS, John Austin Hopkins was charged with 36 counts of gross sexual imposition for the molestation of  28 first grade girls at Clearcreek Elementary School.

First of all, let's discuss how appalled I am at this time. These are children whose life has been drastically changed, and who will have to deal with this trauma for the rest of their lives. Next, let's discuss how in the world this man, John Hopkins was only sentenced to 8 years in prison when the maximum sentence would have been 170 years. The judge sentenced Hopkins to 3-5 years on each count, but is letting him serve his time in prison CONCURRENTLY!

Is this a cruel joke? I am literally sick.

In his original interrogation with police Hopkins stated that he had done nothing wrong and had only ever given the girls side-hugs and high-fives. Hopkins' actions were recorded on surveillance video and he can be seen nuzzling, and kissing the girls.

During the trial state prosecutor, Kevin Hardman explained, "Every second of which with these little girls are for him to fulfill his sexual fantasies with little girls in that first-grade gymnasium. Folks, this by no means was ‘side hugs’ and ‘high fives.’ This was criminal behavior,” Hardman said.

The defense for Hopkins claims that he is on the Autism spectrum, and that his actions were not sexual. The defense further claimed that Hopkins has a need for affection and closeness due to his autism, but doesn't offer an explanation as to why only the girls were targeted.

“Nuzzling or kissing her, rubbing her body -- he had his hands on her outer thighs; he had his hands on her inner thighs. He had them on her crotch, up inside of their shirts. He felt their little bodies every which way possible,” Julie Kraft, the assistant prosecutor, stated in her closing arguments.

Despite hearing numerous victim statements and requests for the imposing the maximum sentence, Judge Peeler decided that the life of this 25-year-old man, was much more important than the lives of those 28 first-grade girls.

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