Former teacher sent to prison

A former Jackson High School teacher became ashen and his knees buckled Monday when a Snohomish County judge sentenced him to a state prison for having sex with one of his students.

Robert Vincent Beresford, 35, of Everett had asked the judge to sentence him to treatment and a shorter county jail term.

Superior Court Judge Kenneth Cowsert said the special sentencing alternative for sex offenders would not be a benefit to Beresford or the community — by law two things a judge must consider in making such determinations.

Beresford was taken away in handcuffs to begin serving a 15-month prison term on convictions of two counts of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor. Twenty months was the top end of the sentencing range.

Moments earlier, Cowsert found Beresford guilty of the two charges after reviewing more than 400 pages of police reports and witness statements.

The prison term came despite a joint recommendation by deputy prosecutor Janice Albert and defense lawyer David Allen of Seattle that Beresford get treatment and a shorter jail term.

Allen described Beresford as a good teacher, and former colleagues wrote that he made impressions on students, got them excited to learn.

For 10 years, "he did have a very positive effect on his students" at Jackson and elsewhere, Allen said.

His teaching days are through forever, Allen said, noting that Beresford already has been punished when he lost his job at Jackson and was stripped of his teaching certificate.

"This is truly the first time Rob crossed the line," Allen said. "Rob is very remorseful about what he did."

In addition, the convictions mean he will have to register as a sex offender.

Albert accused him of having sex numerous times with a then-17-year-old Jackson student. The girl has since changed schools because of the embarrassment.

Beresford was taken out of the classroom in October when the girl’s mother overheard a telephone conversation between her daughter and the teacher and reported it to officials.

In February, Beresford resigned and dropped an appeal of the Everett School District’s intention to fire him.

In court Monday, the victim stood in front of the judge and someone read a letter from her.

During her association with Beresford last year, she was caught up in the glamour and attention from an older man. Now, she said to the defendant, "I see what you did to me … This has forever changed my life. I didn’t want you to get in trouble" at first, but after time she sees the damage that was done.

"You treated me like a piece of meat, and it was wrong," she said.

Her mother called Beresford a "rapist." Her daughter trusted him as a teacher "and you took that trust and treated her in the worst way," she said, asking the judge for a tough penalty.

When it was his turn to talk, Beresford told the girl it was her trust he violated.

"I have really high standards for myself and somehow let them go," he said. "I want her to know I did believe in her. I violated her trust, and I let her down. I’m truly sorry."

Beresford wasn’t pleased with the sentence.

Cowsert said he didn’t dole out the prison term because he dislikes Beresford or because he didn’t think he was a good teacher.

"I’m sending you to prison for what you did," he said. "Do you understand?"

"I don’t understand," Beresford responded. "It seems excessive."

Reporter Jim Haley: 425-339-3447 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

Mt. Baker visible from the summit of Mt. Dickerman on a late summer day in 2017. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Hornets pester hikers on popular Mountain Loop trails

“You cannot out run the stings,” one hiker wrote in a trip report. The Forest Service has posted alerts at two trailheads.

A view of a 6 parcel, 4.4 acre piece of land in Edmonds, south of Edmonds-Woodway High School on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Housing authority seeks more property in Edmonds

The Housing Authority of Snohomish County doesn’t have specific plans for land near 80th Avenue West, if its offer is accepted.

Nursing Administration Supervisor Susan Williams points at a list of current COVID patients at Providence Regional Medical Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of Providence patients in medical limbo for months, even years

About 100 people are stuck in Everett hospital beds without an urgent medical reason. New laws aim for a solution.

Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Pilot dead in ultralight plane crash at Arlington Municipal Airport

There were no other injuries or fatalities reported, a city spokesperson said.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
County Council delays vote on requiring businesses to take cash

Concerns over information and enforcement postponed the council’s scheduled vote on the ordinance Wednesday in Snohomish County.

A girl walks her dog along a path lined with dandelions at Willis D. Tucker Community Park on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Spraying in Willis Tucker Park resurfaces debate over herbicides

Park staff treated about 11,000 square feet with glyphosate and 2,4-D. When applied correctly, staff said they aren’t harmful.

One of Snohomish County PUD’s new smart readers is installed at a single family home Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
PUD program seeks to make energy grid smarter for 380K customers

The public utility’s ConnectUp program will update 380,000 electric meters and 23,000 water meters in the next few years.

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

Most Read