Terrence Bell, a basketball coach at Hillside Middle School and paraprofessional at KPS will go to trial on criminal sexual conduct charges.
The KPS employee is accused of having sex with a 16-year old special education student at Kalamazoo Central.
Bell is the husband of Kalamazoo City Commissioner Stephanie Bell who stood by his side leaving the courtroom.
During a preliminary hearing, Kalamazoo County District Judge Carol Husum determined there was enough evidence to send the case to trial.
The teenage victim testified she had sex with Bell multiple times.
Bell is charged with nine counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct including five counts of third and fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Conduct and three felony counts of Child Abusive Materials, and one misdemeanor count of Furnishing Obscenity to a Child.
The victim was a 16-year-old special education student, and, according to prosecutors, had several instances of sexual contact with Bell between April 2010 and April 2011. Fink says the victim’s parents contacted the police department, who did a complete investigation before handing the report to prosecutors for their review.
“We ask the victim to come forward, and we have one of our assistant prosecutors interview the victim, then we decide on the issuance of charges based upon the police investigation and what the victim tells us,” Fink says.
"Mr. Bell was placed on administrative leave as soon as we became aware of these allegations," said a statement from Kalamazoo Public Schools. "He will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the charges."
When the story broke, FOX 17 received the following statement from Stephanie Bell:
"This is obviously a very difficult time for me, my children and the rest of our family. And I ask that you respect our privacy as we struggle to come to grips with everything that has taken place.
The circumstances are complex and emotionally overwhelming at times. At the appropriate time, I may have more to say once the legal process has run its course and all of the facts are out in the open. Until that time I won't have anything further to say about this.
Right now my priority is to take care of our children and focus on the work I was elected to do by the people of Kalamazoo."
The case moves to Circuit Court