Former Shawnee city councilman Justin Adrian pleads no contest to sexual battery charge

Former Shawnee city councilman Justin Adrian (file photo).

Former Shawnee councilmember Justin Adrian pleaded no contest to one count of aggravated battery and one count of sexual battery during a hearing in Johnson County District Court on Thursday morning.

Adrian was initially charged with unlawful sexual relations with a student at Olathe East High School, where he was a history teacher, in September 2018, a week and a half after he resigned from the council.

Judge Sara Welch found Adrian guilty on both counts, and schedule a sentencing hearing for Jan. 8, 2020. Adrian waived a preliminary hearing on charges of aggravated battery during the Thursday’s court appearance as well. The plea agreement was not read aloud, but Welch said she is not bound by the agreement and may sentence Adrian to the maximum time allowed if she so chooses.

Aggravated battery, a level-five person felony, has a minimum sentence of 31 months and a maximum sentence of 136 months and a 24-month post-release supervision, Welch said. Sexual battery, a class A person misdemeanor, has a maximum sentence of one year in the custody of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and a fine of no more than $2,500, Welch said.

Johnson County Assistant District Attorney Sara Walton read aloud what the state believes it could prove Adrian guilty of if the case went to trial. This includes having sexual relations with a male student at Olathe East on school property in September 2018, after the two began communicating via a social media app that connects people based off of geographical location, she said. The male student, who was over the age of 18 at the time, told the district attorney’s office he did not consent to the touching, Walton said.

Adrian must register as a sex offender for 15 years. He is not allowed around children, but Welch had permitted him to see both his and his husband’s nieces and nephews during the holidays, Shawnee Mission Post previously reported.

Adrian resigned from the city council two days after being place on administrative leave by Olathe Public Schools. He was elected to the council representing Ward 3 in the fall of 2017. The Shawnee council appointed Lisa Larson-Bunnell to fill the seat. She is running to fill the remaining two years of the term against former councilman Kevin Straub.