Sexting Teacher Gets 60 Days in Jail

Balegno apologized to the victim, Andrew Koscik, who is now a freshman at Seton Hall University

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A former high school teacher who sent thousands of inappropriate texts to a 15-year-old student and offered to pay him to make a sex video was sentenced to 60 days in jail Tuesday. (Published Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014)

    A former high school teacher who sent thousands of inappropriate texts to a 15-year-old student and offered to pay him to make a sex video was sentenced to 60 days in jail Tuesday.

    Steffen Balegno was convicted of indecent solicitation of a minor, and unlawful grooming for the incidents that happened several years ago at Grundy County's Morris High School when the victim was 15.

    In court, Balegno apologized to the victim, Andrew Koscik, who is now a freshman at Seton Hall University.

    "Since I was young, I've always went out of my way to help others. However, over the last three years, I've learned a lot. I'd like to apologize to Andrew and his family for any pain I may have caused," Balegno said in court.

    Koscik also attended Tuesday's sentencing.

    "I'm completely satisfied with everything that has happened. The jail time was just icing on the cake," Kosik said.

    "I actually didn't think he'd get any jail time, so ... it's more than what I thought he'd get. I just hope he doesn't do this to anyone else," Koscik's mother, Michelle Peterson, said.

    Balegno's lawyer argued that the messages were taken out of context, but prosecutor Peter Siena warned the judge that Balegno's job made it easier for him to prey on young people

    "The defendant was in a position that allowed him to have access to minor children. To violate that trust, does have severe consequences," Siena said in court.

    Balegno must also register as a sex offender and will receive 120 more days in jail if he violates the terms of his probation.