The former Billings elementary school teacher accused of sexually assaulting students in class has admitted charges.
Brent David Skelton, 32, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of sexual assault under a plea deal. The agreement does not state what sentence the prosecution or defense will recommend.
Skelton was set for trial next week. In pleading guilty, he admitted to touching two of his fifth-grade students both over and under their clothing, including their genitals, during class hours.
A day before pleading guilty, Skelton’s attorneys filed their trial brief, which noted that Skelton was expected to serve as the sole defense witness.
“He will also testify to the heartbreak he has experienced from being blamed for assaulting two [fifth-grade] girls,” the brief said. “He will testify he never harmed them and never touched them inappropriately. He has no explanation as to why they would make these allegations against him.”
The brief went on to say Skelton would admit at trial to having texted both students, and in doing so, letting his judgment lapse. Skelton’s attorneys said he didn’t initiate the texts but regretted responding.
In the weeks leading up to the trial date, prosecutors amended their filing to add a third count of sexual assault. It pertained to one of the two victims cited in the original affidavit.
Under the plea agreement, prosecutors will dismiss count No. 2 at sentencing. Skelton pleaded guilty to the two other counts.