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      Ex-Latta band director sentenced for sex crimes

      Former Latta High School band director Tyler Hutto pleaded guilty Wednesday to seven sex charges, including criminal sexual conduct and sexual battery with a student.

      The charges involve sex crimes with three girls under the age of 16 who were his students.

      Circuit Court Judge Paul Burch scolded Hutto, saying he knew better than to get involved with a student.

      Hutto's attorney told the judge his client didn't want a trial because he admits to his wrongdoing.

      Five people testified to the character of Hutto. His grandmother, a friend, and fellow parishioners asked the judge to have mercy on Hutto. They said he is a good man who just made poor decisions.

      Relatives of the victims spoke on the victims' behalf. The father of one of the girls said his daughter's life is forever changed as a result of Hutto's actions. A therapist for a 16-year-old victim read a letter on the girl's behalf. In the letter, the 16-year-old says she started her relationship with Hutto after she started babysitting his son. She says they started texting at first and then the relationship turned physical.

      Judge Burch sentenced Hutto to two-and-a-half years in prison. He will be placed on five years probation after prison time. Hutto must also register as a sex offender.