October 18, 2008 in Voices

Villaro sentenced for domestic violence charge

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Former West Valley High School teacher and wrestling coach John Villaro was recently sentenced for assaulting his wife in April. Villaro lost his coaching position in the spring and voluntarily quit his teaching job in August.

Villaro, 35, was originally charged with third-degree assault and second-degree assault, both felonies. Villaro’s wife, Christine Villaro, told police officers that her husband pushed her down, choked her, grabbed her and tried to push her down the stairs. Police officers who responded said she had marks on her arms and throat and a lump on her head. According to court documents, she was nine weeks pregnant at the time of the assault. She suffered a miscarriage shortly after.

Villaro was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to third-degree domestic violence assault, also a felony. His attorney, Robert Cossey, said that time will be spent on electronic home-monitoring so he can keep his job.

Cossey said he wasn’t sure what Villaro’s new job was. “It’s not teaching,” Cossey said. “It’s nothing to do with kids.”

Villaro was also sentenced to two years probation.

As it stands now, Villaro can still teach in the state of Washington. A criminal conviction does not automatically trigger an investigation unless it involves certain felony crimes against children, said Charlie Schreck, director of the Office of Professional Practices run by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. An investigation would allow OSPI to determine if Villaro should be allowed to keep his teaching certificate.

“We can only initiate an investigation if a complaint is filed by the school district superintendent or the superintendent of (Educational Service District) 101,” he said. The complaint must give evidence of a violation of the teacher code of conduct or lack of good moral character.

Even though Villaro no longer works for West Valley, the district can still file a complaint. “He was employed there at the time these incidents happened,” he said. “That’s totally the superintendent’s decision.”

West Valley spokeswoman Sue Shields said the district just learned about the felony conviction this week. “We just found out,” she said. “We’re in communication with Charlie Schreck at OSPI about our responsibilities and options. We just haven’t made a decision yet.”

Nina Culver can be reached at 927-2158 or via e-mail at ninac@spokesman.com.


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