A former Sleepy Eye teacher was sentenced to six months in jail and 15 years of probation Tuesday for having a sexual relationship with one of his students.

Calvin Collum, 47, was sentenced by Brown County District Court Judge John Rodenberg after pleading guilty in September to one felony count of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree.

Collum initially pleaded not guilty to felony charges that he had entered a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female student.

According to court documents, the relationship began in early 2009, with Collum using covert classroom flattery, Facebook charm and the allure of a Connecticut love nest to seduce the girl.

The girl’s mother read a short victim impact statement in court Tuesday, describing her daughter as an active, outgoing teen who was exploited in a setting generally regarded as a safe haven.

“When you send your child to school, you think that’s the least place where danger can happen,” she said.

“She’s handled it well, but no matter how mature she acts, she’s still a child.”

Collum declined to address the court after the sentence was read.

Court records revealed that Collum would compliment the girl on how her jeans fit, and during English class, they would exchange cell phone text messages.

The girl and Collum also were friends on the online social networking Web site Facebook, and on their Facebook pages were photos of the teacher with his arm around the girl.

The two began meeting privately in school, and the girl told a friend she and Collum were planning to move to Connecticut when she turned 19, and that they’d already chosen names for their children.

Collum would work these names into his class lectures to the girl’s delight.

The girl later told a friend she and Collum were having sexual relations at his New Ulm residence.

Collum’s sentence also includes a $1,500 fine, completion of a psychosexual evaluation, no unsupervised contact with minors for the duration of his probation and registry as a predatory sex offender.

The victim’s family has filed a civil lawsuit, naming as defendants Collum and the Sleepy Eye School District.

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