Former Cedar Springs High School teacher Jon Eric Jungkind, 45, was found guilty last Friday, November 9, in 17th Circuit Court, of one count of 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct, for allegedly having sex with a then 17-year-old student. He was acquitted on a second count.
He was arrested last November on the charges. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, they received information on November 23, 2011, about a possible sexual relationship between Jungkind and his 17-year-old student. The victim told police she had sexual intercourse on two separate occasions during the summer with Jungkind, who was her chemistry teacher. The incidents allegedly happened at his home in Nelson Township. The teen said that she became pregnant and that Jungkind bought her abortion pills to terminate the pregnancy.
During the trial, Jungkind testified that he did not have sex with the student and only thought of her as a good friend, “like the daughter I never had.” Testimony showed he was close to the teen, taking her on several outings, sometimes accompanying her family. Facebook messages introduced as evidence showed that his close relationship with the teen was the cause of a break up with his fiancée.
He did admit to buying the student the abortion pills, but said it was only to help out a good friend. He said he threw them out after she refused to tell her parents about the pregnancy.
Jungkind was a popular teacher with students. He taught general chemistry, AP chemistry, the science of science fiction, and physics. He was also chair of the science department, and involved as an advisor in some student clubs, such as National Honor Society, and the Eco-club.
Jungkind was remanded into custody at the Kent County Jail, and will be sentenced in December.