A Payette man will get one year behind bars after pleading guilty to indecent exposure. Jeffrey Scott Ward, who was 52 at the time of his arrest was a substitute teacher at Parma High School when he sent a photo of his genitals to a 16-year old female student.
Ward was sentenced to one year in the Dale Haile Detention Center (three years indeterminate) and 18 months of probation during his Monday sentencing hearing. Ward will have to register as a sex offender, meaning he is not allowed to teach or coach in any school or church setting and cannot have unsupervised contact with minors.
According to Canyon County Public Information Officer Joe Decker, Ward was facing up to 10 years in prison for the charge. The original charge of sexual battery of a minor carries up to 25 years in prison, Decker said in an email.
Ward had previously served as a substitute teacher at Parma High School.
In a March 7 court filing in Canyon County, the prosecution and defense jointly moved to vacate a jury trial and to reset the case for a change of plea. Ward originally pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual battery of a minor child between 16 and 17 years of age during a Jan. 3 hearing.
The charges stem from when Ward was a substitute teacher at Parma, where he also was a coach for the junior varsity softball team from 2013 to 2018.
According to court documents, the victim met Ward in the spring of 2018 while he was substituting at the school in the Parma School District. Later in the year, on Sept. 13, he texted the student photos of his groin.
Ward was originally facing an additional charge of sexual battery of a minor child between 16 and 17 years of age. He pleaded not guilty to the two charges in January. Following a plea deal, Ward changed his plea to guilty on one count of indecent exposure in April.
Ward is no longer employed with the school district.