MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) -- A former Washington State University professor has been sentenced to up to five years in prison for felony injury to a child after prosecutors said he sexually assaulted a teen in Idaho.
Andrew Appleton, 52, was sentenced to one to five years in prison on Monday. But 2nd District Judge John Stegner retained jurisdiction in the case, telling Appleton that if he successfully completes a six-month prison treatment program, he may be allowed to serve the remainder of his time on probation.
Prosecutors charged Appleton with felony rape because they said he sexually assaulted a teenager for a year starting when she was 16. The charge was reduced in exchange for his guilty plea. Appleton was removed from his job as an associate professor of political science after his arrest.
The teen, then 18, told investigators the relationship started when she was living in California. According to court documents, Appleton lived in Moscow at the time, but the two visited each other frequently.
The woman said she received counseling in the spring of 2010 after another family member caught the two in a compromising position. The relationship was not reported to the police at that time.
The victim moved in with Appleton in spring 2010. She said the two carried on their relationship and sex became a “way of life,” happening once or twice a day. The woman also said Appleton saved topless photos of her in his computer.
Court records show the victim turned 18 in 2011, and the sexual relationship continued.
According to court documents, a phone conversation recorded Appleton saying he left his marriage because he fell in love with the victim.