Hostetler currently sits in the county jail

Matthew Hostetler was sentenced to 30 years in prison for child molestation in November.

RENSSELAER — Former Kankakee Valley Middle School teacher Matthew Hostetler was sentenced to 30 years (or 10,950 days) with the Indiana Department of Corrections this month after pleading guilty to one count of child molesting in October.

The sentence, which is the maximum, was handed down on Nov. 24 and ordered by Jasper County Superior Court Judge Russell Bailey on Dec. 13. Notice of Bailey’s decision was sent to the Jasper County Department of Probation, the Kankakee Valley School Corporation superintendent and the Indiana Department of Education Office of Legal Affairs.

The sentence credits time served at nine days with five years (or 1,825 days) suspended. Hostetler will be placed on probation for those five years once released.

He is also required to report as a sex offender on Indiana’s Sex and Violent Offender Registry.

Hostetler, 28, of Valparaiso, was arrested by Jasper County sheriff’s deputies on Feb. 19, 2021, on an allegation of inappropriate communication and touching between he and a student.. He was transported to the Jasper County Jail and charged with one count of child molestation, a Level 1 felony.

He was still being held at the jail as of Dec. 28.

Hostetler later admitted he had sexual intercourse with a student — who was age 13 at the time — twice during school hours. Both encounters occurred on school property in the fall of 2020.

Jasper County Prosecutor Jacob Taulman said Hostetler violated the trust placed in him by students, parents and school staff.

“Teachers are trusted to always look out for the best interests of their students,” Taulman said. “Mr. Hostetler violated that trust in the worst way, taking advantage of a vulnerable student.”

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