A former security guard at Tacoma’s Stadium High School convicted of having sex with students received a four-year prison sentence and a lecture this afternoon from Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper.
Donte D. Lipscomb, 32, pleaded guilty last month to three counts of first-degree sexual misconduct. Deputy prosecutor Thomas Howe and defense attorney Desmond Kolke both recommended a sentence of three years, five months in prison as part of the deal. That was the low end of the sentencing range.
Lipscomb had been charged with having sex with three female students from 2010 to 2012, when one of the girls came forward. She told authorities she was 16 when she and Lipscomb began having sex and said he sometimes would get her out of class to have sex on campus, court records show.
It is illegal in Washington for school employees to have sex with students, even if the sex is consensual and the student is legally of age.
The Tacoma School District fired Lipscomb last year. He had been employed with the district as a security officer since 2006, including time at Stadium and Oakland Alternative School. He also worked as coach of Stadium’s “C” basketball team.
Two of the victims addressed Culpepper before sentencing.
Both said they still had bad feelings about their relationship with Lipscomb, who was married with children at the time.
“I hated myself. I hated the situation,” one said. “I wanted to kill myself. I still feel like I let a lot of people down.”
The father of one of the victims said his daughter suffered “irreparable damage.”
“He was supposed to protect them,” the man said.
Lipscomb apologized for his actions and said they came at a time when he was suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I regret every day my actions,” he said. “It was at a low point in my life.”
Culpepper wasn’t sympathetic, saying Lipscomb “took advantage of these young girls” and felt bad mainly because he got caught.
“Mr. Lipscomb has children. One wonders what he would think if someone did this to his daughters,” Culpepper said before tacking seven months onto the recommended sentence.
The judge then turned his attention to the victims.
“It’s not your fault,” Culpepper said as a corrections officer led Lipscomb away. “He’s the one who broke the law and knew it. But you have to be careful about people and whether you trust them. Some people are very trustworthy. Some are not.”