WAHS Teacher Gets 10 Years for Enticement

Former Western Albemarle High School teacher Neal Willetts has been given a ten year federal prison sentence for attempting to sexually entice a student over the internet. The 26-year-old taught social studies at WAHS two years ago. Shortly after then, while teaching in the United Arab Emirates, he sent graphic sexual e-mails to a 15-year-old male student. Ten years is the minimum allowed under federal guidelines.

Sending sexually explicit e-mails to a former student gets you ten years in a federal penitentiary. Actually having sex with students at school? That’ll get you just twenty one months. The law tells us that Willetts would have been better off molesting one of his students than talking dirty to him from 12,000 miles away. But the law, as Dickens wrote, is an ass.

10 Responses to “WAHS Teacher Gets 10 Years for Enticement”


  • Wow. Maybe it is because this is a federal indictment versus Spivey’s which was a state or county?
    This is absurd. And who was the WAHS teacher’s lawyer??? Great job bozo.

  • The Albemarle Police captain that solicited children on the Internet should have been given 10 years!

  • I’m definitely not a lawyer (as y’all well know :), but I think you’re right, Jan, it’s the difference between a federal and a state crime. I can’t claim to know what the appropriate sentence is for either of these crimes, but the disparity here is simply unresolvable. It reminds me of the famous disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentencing only, if anything, this is even more egregious.

  • It’s the same as if you swindle someone using the US mail vs in person. Using the mail makes it federal and you can do a lot more time.

  • Ever seen the differences in sentencing between crack cocaine and powder cocaine?

    5g of Crack = 500g of Powder

    There are plenty of laws on the books that absolutely fly in the face of reason or sanity or any other basis of reality.

  • And, it’s great to know that those who do not like these laws don’t break them; those who obviously don’t care, do. He wanted 10 years and got them. I say he wanted them because there was no compelling reason for his sending emails from the UAE. He didn’t bother the 15 year olds over there because he would have been killed when caught. I’m saying this because it’s obvious to me this wasn’t some kind of sexual attraction but some kind of vicious mental game he was playing.

  • There’s a lot more to this case than was released to the media – and Willetts did a lot more than just send emails. There are things he did that never went to trial, and for that, 10 years isn’t nearly enough.

    In any case with children, the law needs to protect those involved with the case first and foremost – sometimes that means justice isn’t served. Because the exploitation and solicitation children face aren’t the end of the trauma: the resulting law suit and legal case can do much more harm.

    And to be honest, I’ve been disgusted with most of the media’s descending upon this case. Journalists don’t always realize that their stories are about real situations with real people – people who don’t need to hear themselves mentioned on the radio when they’re driving into school. They’ve been through enough – leave it be.

  • Did Fran Lawrence really state, “Neal is committed to be a model prisoner and to make significant positive contributions to the community on his release.”

    The firm of St John, Bowling, and Lawrence LLP (and one must include Ms Quagliana of recent Beebe-Seccuro fame) are becoming well known for defending the sexual perverts of society, aren’t they?

    Unfortunately, with the way the legal system operates, this guy will not be doing 10 years.

  • I’m glad somebody is defending these people. It helps make being an American something to be proud of.

  • Everybody deserves a defense. That’s one of the premises of our nation.

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