GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – The former Grand Rapids Catholic Central tutor who was convicted of raping a teenage student is scheduled to be sentenced this afternoon.
Abigail Simon, 35, was convicted on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of accosting a child for immoral purposes during an 11-day trial in November.
While she faces up to life in prison for the conviction, Simon’s lawyer, Michael Manley, told 24 Hour News 8 after the trial he believes Simon won’t receive the maximum sentence because she had no previous criminal record. However, a prison sentence is mandatory.
During the trial, the defense claimed the victim, not Simon, was the aggressor in the relationship and that the petite Simon, then 33, was intimidated into having sex with the then-15-year-old, who is 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds.
Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Helen Brinkman called that the “theater of the absurd.”
Although Simon became agitated and combative at times while she testified in her trial, Manley told 24 Hour News 8 his client was “at peace” after the verdict was read.
“She already won,” Manley said in late November. “She told her story, she faced her accuser and nobody’s going to hurt her again.”
Both Simon and the victim will be given an opportunity to speak at the sentencing.
24 Hour News 8 will livestream the sentencing, which begins at 2 p.m. Ken Kolker, who covered Simon’s trial, will be at the sentencing. Follow him on Twitter for the latest updates.