Former teacher sentenced for sexual exploitation of children

MARQUETTE — A former teacher from the eastern U.P. is headed to federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr., announced Friday that Thomas Kevin Hamel, 67 of St. Ignace, was sentenced to fifteen years for sexual exploitation of a minor. Hamel will also have to serve five years of supervised release and pay fines in addition to a requirement to register as a sex offender.

Officials say Hamel’s activities came to light through an investigation into the distribution of child pornography in the U.S. by a foreign company. That investigation identified Hamel as a subscriber who had purchased suspected child pornography videos. Further investigation revealed that Hamel, a retired teacher who served as an athletic trainer for the football and wrestling teams at St. Ignace LaSalle High School, had secretly videotaped boys from the football and wrestling teams while they were nude.

Hamel pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor in February.