A Boise junior high teacher and coach was sentenced for sexually abusing a minor he once taught.
Eric McDermott, 59, of Meridian, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of sexual battery committed on a minor 16 years of age as part of a plea agreement that saw his initial rape charge dropped.
McDermott, a former geography teacher and boys basketball coach at Fairmont Junior High, taught the male victim when the teenager was 15, according to arraignment documents.
McDermott allegedly contacted him in 2020, when the victim was 16, on a “dating hookup site,” according to prosecution statements at the arraignment. The prosecution said McDermott sent nude photos and communicated with the teen for several days before picking him up and driving him to McDermott’s home.
Ada County District Judge Derrick O’Neill sentenced the former teacher on Aug. 25 to 20 years in prison, with seven years fixed, meaning McDermott won’t be eligible for parole until at least seven years into his term. The judge also ordered McDermott to pay the victim $5,000.
The school placed McDermott on leave in April “immediately after being notified” by Boise police of his arrest, according to a letter the district sent to parents.
McDermott’s arrest came after other Fairmont staffers faced allegations surrounding sexual misconduct.
The Idaho Capital Sun reported that Fairmont social worker Scott Crandell died by suicide in December after police began investigating allegations that Crandell was victimizing a student in their early teens. In January, city prosecutors charged Fairmont’s former principal, Christopher Ryan, with failing to report an allegation of child abuse for months.
Following the charges, the district moved Ryan into an administrative position within the Boise School District.