FOND DU LAC - A former Spanish teacher at Mayville High School will be in prison for the next two years.
Shannon Cardinal, 44, was sentenced Wednesday for her conviction of having sex with a student.
"I know I made a mistake, I've never denied that fact, I've asked for forgiveness through God because that is the only way I could,” said Cardinal.
Shannon Cardinal's tearful apology didn't sway the opinion of Judge Dale English.
"You expect teachers to teach and not to victimize, and I think the breech of trust here is significant,” said Judge English, Fond du Lac County Circuit Court.
English sentenced Cardinal to two years in prison. That's more than the one year in jail prosecutors had asked for.
The victim did not attend the sentencing.
Cardinal was convicted of six incidents of sexual assault and texting naked pictures of herself to the student. Judge English says the conduct outweighed the fact Cardinal previously had a clean record and has since found employment that does not put her in contact with minors.
"This isn't a probation case to me, it just isn't. I think the offense is so aggravating that probation I don't think is appropriate,” he said.
And that satisfied prosecutors.
"On cases like this, it is sometimes hard to find the right balance as to exactly what is appropriate. She didn't have a criminal record and she had what the court called good character, but the severity of the offense was so high I could have seen the court go either way,” said Devra Ayala, Fond du Lac County Assistant District Attorney.
Cardinal's attorney did not comment after court, but told the judge Cardinal was dealing with depression and marital problems at the time she began the relationship with the student.
"I have gained incredible knowledge through my self-growth through my therapy and would like to share this lesson that I have learned,” said Cardinal.
Her attorney agreed some punishment was appropriate but argued for one month in jail, instead asking for probation for Cardinal to prove she has learned from her mistake.
As part of her sentence, Cardinal will have to register as a sex offender and will have to report to begin her sentence in 60 days.
Cardinal will serve one year of extended supervision after her prison term.
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