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Teacher pleads guilty to sexually assaulting boy

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A former music teacher has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a young boy.

Joseph E. Hamm, 49, of Kansas City, initially was charged with four counts of statutory sodomy and one count each of forcible sodomy, kidnapping, possession of child pornography, furnishing pornographic material to a minor, and sexual misconduct involving a child by indecent exposure.

Hamm pleaded guilty Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court to four counts of statutory sodomy and one count of sexual misconduct. The other charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

The Center School District fired Hamm after the charges were filed in December. He had taught vocal music in the district's high school and middle school.

In 1996 Hamm resigned a teaching position in Coralville, Iowa, after he was charged with misdemeanor sexual harassment involving a 14-year-old female student.

He entered an Alford plea, in which he did not admit wrongdoing but acknowledged that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him. Hamm was able to have his Iowa criminal record expunged, making it unlikely that the record would have appeared on background checks.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 5.


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