LAKE ORION, Mich. (FOX 2) - Earlier this week, former Lake Orion High School teacher Kathleen 'Kate' Boozer was sentenced to jail for one year after reaching a plea deal with the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office. The student she had a sexual relationship with said this sentencing is 8 years in the making but Boozer's attorney says, though he was a minor, he was also a willing participant.
Boozer reached a plea deal and agreed to plead no contest to two counts of 3rd-degree criminal sex crimes. As part of the plea deal, two other charges were dropped and Boozer was sentenced to a year in jail. She must also register as a sex offender, continue treatment, and have no contact with her former student, Ryan Crue.
The sentencing was a long time coming for Crue who said he's dealt with a mental and physical toll from the affair with his former Spanish teacher.
"Here I am, 8 years later from rock bottom to standing in a courtroom addressing you, my abuser. My struggles and memories won't disappear after today I will carry them with me for the rest of my life," Crue said in court on Tuesday during her sentencing.
Crue has shared how he was sexually abused and manipulated by Boozer during their relationship that happened in 2014. In the end, though, telling his story was worth it.
"It was empowering - it was a little scary - once you get going, you just keep reading. By the end of it, I was glad I did it and I definitely needed it," he said.
Crue told FOX 2's Robin Murdoch his story in December 2020, three months before Boozer was first in court on the charges. He was 16 and she was 28 when they started their relationship that happened inside the classroom.
Crue said they would cover the windows of her classroom with black construction paper so they could have sex without others seeing inside.
After Crue told his story and a new prosecutor was elected in Oakland County, Karen McDonald, the case was reviewed again. Crue's mother, Nancy Hatalsky, said she's grateful that McDonald looked at the case again.
"We are incredibly fortunate to be here today because the first time this was brought before the former prosecuting attorney, she would not press charges. Once Karen Mcdonald was elected and looked at this case again, she said ‘I’m going to press charges' and because of that we are here today and I am forever grateful," she said.
Boozer was never fired from the district but resigned in 2016. According to a school spokesperson, the district notified police about the situation shortly after Crue's parents approached them.
However, FOX 2 dove into the records and revealed the Oakland County Sheriff's Office was not aware until years later when Crue and his family went to them.
"The friends I have in this courtroom supporting me today are the same ones who took washcloths to my wrists after I had cut them open. (They're) the same friends who had to call my parents to come get me because they were afraid of what more I would do to myself," Crue said.
During her sentencing, Crue explained to everyone what life has been like for him: he's had to undergo therapy and take medicine for his mental well-being. But he's also hopeful that this will give others the strength to speak up, too, and says seeing her in handcuffs was part of his healing process.
"That's why I did it: to get justice for myself and to go to bed at night knowing I did everything I could to protect myself and other kids out there who might be dealing with the same thing. It's such a big ending to something that has taken so long," Crue said.
Boozer's attorney, Alex Giuliani, released a statement FOX 2 after the sentencing:
"From my perspective in this case, I think the public should know a few things: This was 8 years ago. Back in 2019, the prosecutor’s office originally declined to authorize charges against Mrs. Boozer. There needs to be a modicum of personal responsibility on Mr. Crue’s part – he was 17 years old when this took place. I am not excusing the behavior of a teacher, but he wasn’t a child. He was a willing participant, and you need to ask Mr. Crue why he referred to himself as the ‘lowkey legend’. Finally, while I understand Mr. Crue has a lot of issues, he cannot blame every issue he has in his life on his relationship with my client," the statement read.