Michigan man sentenced for attacking wife
Grand Rapids – A former Michigan teacher has been sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison for slashing his wife’s throat after she discovered he was having an affair with someone who turned out to be a middle-school student.
James Chelekis was sentenced Tuesday in Kent County Circuit Court. Earlier this month, the 32-year-old pleaded no contest to attempted murder for the attack on his wife last June at their home.
The attack came after Amanda Chelekis found evidence of the affair. The couple spent most of the evening discussing the issue before agreeing to marriage counseling. Amanda Chelekis wasn’t aware at the time that the affair was with a minor.
“Standing behind me, he kissed my forehead and slit my throat from one side to the other,” Amanda Chelekis said in court. “The trauma I was forced to endure was horrendous.”
Amanda Chelekis, who is a registered nurse, was able to contain the bleeding for almost an hour before her husband called for help. She filed for divorce after the attack. The pair has two daughters together.
James Chelekis was a math teacher at Crestwood Middle School. Investigators said he’d traded texts, chats and photos with a 14-year-old girl that suggested they began a sexual relationship in June 2016.
In a statement read by prosecutors, the girl’s mother wrote that James Chelekis had manipulated and isolated her daughter in order to start an inappropriate relationship with the girl.
“He robbed our daughter of her innocence and childhood. And that is something that she can never get back,” she wrote.
James Chelekis pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to 15 to 40 years in prison, which will be served concurrently with the attempted murder sentence.