Substitute teacher pleads no contest in student sex case

By: Cortney Casey | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 27, 2012

A former substitute teacher accused of sexual assault and inappropriate communications with students has pleaded no contest to several of the counts against him in exchange for the dismissal of others.

Christopher Michael Skebo, 29, entered the pleas Nov. 15, the day his trial in Macomb County Circuit Court was due to begin.

The charges, which stem from two separate cases in Sterling Heights and Warren, involve improper relationships Skebo allegedly had with underage students while working as a substitute band teacher at local high schools.

Sterling Heights police arrested Skebo in March, following an investigation into the alleged assaults of two Stevenson High School students, ages 16 and 17.

At the time, Lt. Luke Riley of the Sterling Heights Police Department said that the connection between Skebo and the victims “was something that developed over time and then became more involved over time, but the assault is what brought it to the attention of the authorities.”

While Riley declined to elaborate on the circumstances due to privacy issues, he indicated that third-degree criminal sexual conduct involves sexual penetration paired with at least one of several conditions, which can involve the victim’s age and the perpetrator being a teacher, substitute teacher or administrator.

Skebo also was charged in Warren after allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to a female student at Warren Woods Tower High School.

The cases were bound over to Macomb County Circuit Court from the respective district courts in late May.

Skebo pleaded no contest to four charges tied to the Sterling Heights case: third-degree CSC, a 15-year felony; two counts of using a computer to communicate with another to commit a crime, a 20-year felony; and tampering with evidence, a 10-year felony.

On the Warren case, he pleaded no contest to one count of child sexually abusive activity, a 20-year felony.

The plea deal involves the dismissal of several other charges, including gross indecency, using a computer to communicate with another to commit a crime on the Warren case, additional tampering with evidence and child sexually abusive activity counts on the Sterling case.

Assistant Prosecutor Rebecca Oster, who handled the case for the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, declined to comment on the case’s outcome prior to Skebo’s sentencing, which is set for Jan. 4, 2013.

Skebo’s attorney, Richard Marcil, said the timing gives his client time to be with his family for the holidays.

“He also recently was married, and he’s looking to put this matter behind him,” said Marcil, “and I think that the alleged victims’ families and the school districts were also fairly satisfied with the outcome.”