When Rose City, Mich., teacher Neil Erickson pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual misconduct (CSC) for molesting the 8th grade-son of John and Lori Janczewski, his sentencing set off an outpouring of support, coupled with a slew of violent and destructive attacks.
While it might seem the former would be for the family, and the latter for the teacher, the roles have been reversed: Erickson and his family have enjoyed the backing of several teachers, a school district board member and a local church, and the Janczewski’s have been attacked verbally while their home has been vandalized.
According to The Ogemaw Herald:
At [Erikson’s] sentencing, they found several current West Branch-Rose City teachers, as well as a current board member, seemingly showing their support of Erickson. And it was there they also learned of 10 letters supporting him that were given to Judge Michael Baumgartner, several of which were written by current teachers in the district.
“My wife and I are sick and sad at the support they gave a CSC 1 child molester,” John Janczewski told the Herald in an interview July 18. “We’re very angry. We’re happy with the sentence (Erickson) got. But we’re very angry and not happy with the support of a board member and retired teacher. The message they’re sending our kids is it’s OK to molest a child, I believe, or that they’ll turn an eye to it.”
Mike Eagan, the board member John Janczewski speaks of, attended the sentencing and sat with Erickson’s family. Eagan told the Herald July 18 he was there to support Erickson’s family, not Erickson himself.
“Neal Erickson’s actions were wrong,” Eagan told The Herald. “They are wrong. He broke the law. He is being punished. And I do not support any of the actions that he did. I support his family in their time of troubles. And I feel bad for the victim’s family. They’ve gone through a horrible time.”
Meanwhile, Janczewski appeared on the Glenn Beck radio program Monday about the aftermath of the sentencing, and told Beck, “At one thirty in the morning on a Saturday, I was awoken to a bomb sound going off,” Janczewski said. “I went to the window to find my garage was on fire and engulfed in flames, my camper and the side of my house…If I wouldn’t have woken up, we could’ve all died.”