Ashe County High School's former band director, Ryan Edward Claar, pleaded no contest Monday afternoon to three felony counts of a crime against nature, and received 90 months of unsupervised probation as part of a plea agreement.
Claar, originally charged with three felony counts of indecent liberties with a student, entered the no contest plea to avoid an active jail sentence. Instead, Claar received three consecutive 30 month sentences, or a total of 90 months, of unsupervised probation.
According to ACSO Detective Captain Carolyn Gentry, the charges stemmed from a relationship that began in the fall of 2011 between Claar and a female student who wanted to be the Ashe County High School marching band's drum major.
Gentry, and ACHS School Resource Officer Chuck Reavis launched an investigation into the relationship on Feb. 6, 2012.
"The victim wanted to be the drum major, and a relationship developed between the student and Claar which was then reported to us," said Gentry.
At the time of the relationship, Claar was 30 and the victim was 17.
After the no contest plea was entered, the victim's mother stood and spoke directly to Claar, and read lyrics from Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger."
“Ryan Claar, there is a song that came out right before your attack. My daughter and I have made this our song," said the victim's mother.
"You know I dream in color, you think you've got the best of me. You think you left me broken. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller. What doesn't kill you makes you a fighter," said the victim's mother.
"These lyrics have a strong meaning for me as a mother, because my daughter does dream in color. You, Ryan Claar, darkened those colors for a time, but don't worry, you have not gotten the best of her," said the victim's mother.
Claar is also prohibited from any contact with the victim or the victim's family.
Claar is currently gainfully employed out of state, according to his attorney, and said Claar regrets his decision and the relationship calling it, "Very poor judgment and is glad to try and put it behind us."
Claar, the former Ashe County High School Band Director, was suspended by the Ashe County Board of Education after an investigation was launched by the Ashe County Sheriffs Office in February of this year. Claar later resigned.
At the time of his resignation, Claar had been employed as the band instructor at ACHS for a year and a half.