Vilonia teacher sentenced to 30 days jail for harassment

The former Vilonia teacher who used an iPod to record images underneath two women’s skirts in Walmart earlier this summer pleaded guilty to two harassment charges in court Thursday.

Michael Rush, of Conway, was sentenced by Circuit Judge Amy Brazil to 180 days in Faulkner County jail with 150 days suspended.

His sentence will be served on weekends beginning Friday.

According to court documents, Rush is not to enter any Walmart location for one year, and is not to have contact with either of the two victims for one year.

Rush is to continue therapy, and will return to court in 90 days for a review, according to sentencing information.

If any condition of the plea deal is violated, the 150-day sentence will be reinstated.

Vilonia Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Mitchell said Thursday Rush did not request a hearing before the school board in July after he was given the option.

“We gave him 30 days to request and he did not, so the board voted to terminate him,” Mitchell said. “I thought the way he handled this, he realized he made a mistake and was cooperative as far as understanding the consequences of it.”

Rush taught in several positions at Vilonia schools for about 15 years, Mitchell said.

He was a part of the school’s credit recovery program at the time he was terminated.

Rush was director of the University of Central Arkansas Great Bear Writing Project. He is no longer associated with the project, a UCA spokesperson said Thursday.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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