CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — A former Jefferson High School teacher was sentenced to decades in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to several charges.

Jefferson County Prosecutor Matt Harvey said 35-year-old Willie Edward Belmonte, Jr. of Charles Town pled guilty to 8 counts of Sexual Abuse by a Person in a Position of Trust, 3 counts of Using Obscene Matter with Intent to Seduce a Minor, and 2 counts of Soliciting a Minor via a Computer and Engaging in an Overt Act.

On Wednesday, he was sentenced to minimum of 23 years and 9 months to a maximum of 55 years in prison. Belmonte was also ordered to serve 50 years of supervised release which will not begin until after he is released from prison. In addition to these sentences he was ordered to register as a sexual offender for life.

The charges stem from the sexual abuse of a student at Jefferson High School while he was a teacher at that school between May and August of 2021.

Harvey said, “Belmonte used his position of trust, as a teacher, to groom and abuse a child entrusted in his care.” “Schools are supposed to safe places where we send our children to learn, not to be preyed upon by sexual predators.” Harvey credited the work of two Sheriff’s Deputies for their gathering of evidence in the case when it was reported.

–Prosecutor Harvey reminds parents to be stay engaged with their children and monitor electronics and social media usage. Predators will almost always use these mediums to contact victims in an attempt to initiate contact or continue grooming.

Circuit Judge Debra McLaughlin of the Jefferson County Circuit Court presided.