Former Clarenceville School District teacher found guilty of criminal sexual conduct

Berkley man awaiting sentencing

Jason Debandt (City of Berkley Department of Public Safety)

PONTIAC, Mich. – A former Clarenceville School District teacher has been found guilty on five charges related to sexual misconduct allegations.

According to a news release from Berkley Police Department, several students from Clarenceville School District came forward with sexual assault allegations against former choir and theater teacher Jason Debandt in August 2020.

Debandt was charged in June 2021 with two counts of criminal sexual conduct third degree; one count of criminal sexual conduct fourth degree; and two counts of distributing sexually explicit material to minors.

These charges stemmed from incidents that took place between 2012 and 2015 in Berkley.

His trial started on April 13, 2023, and ended on April 21, in the 6th Circuit Court of Oakland County. The jury found Debandt guilty on all five charges.

According to Berkley police, the victims in the case, who were 16 and 17 years old at the time of the offenses, are “beyond grateful for the jury who heard their voice, and the people in this case that stood by their side the entire time.”

Officials say there were several students who made allegations about inappropriate contact with Debandt, but these two victims specifically, had gone to the teacher’s home in Berkley where sexual misconduct occurred in 2011, 2012, and 2015.

“These young ladies were so brave to have their lives shared in front of strangers, and to be a voice for so many others who were too scared to say anything was amazing to see. These girls had to go through so much due to a teacher, taking advantage of their circumstances, to prey upon his students,” Lt. Andrew Hadfield of Berkley Police Department said in a statement.

Debandt is currently lodged at the Oakland County Jail while he awaits his sentencing hearing that is scheduled for June 6 at 8:30 a.m.

Previous coverage: Former Clarenceville School District teacher accused of grooming students for sex charged with criminal sexual misconduct