GREENWOOD, Ind. — A former Greenwood High School teacher will serve three years behind bars after pleading guilty to having a sexual relationship with a female student.

Matthew Hockersmith, 41, pleaded guilty to three counts of child seduction as a Level 5 felony. He was sentenced to three years in prison and one year on probation.

Hockersmith was arrested in December of 2021 on school grounds after allegations surfaced of his relationship with the student. During interviews with police, Hockersmith reportedly admitted to knowing his relationship with the student was wrong but said that he “truly cared” for the student.

Hockersmith and the student told police that the pair would meet up during school hours and catch up on how the day was going and “sometimes kiss and stuff,” but refrained from doing anything sexual within the school.

Detectives said that the two communicated through messaging on their cell phones and would refer to each other as “husband and wife.”

The Greenwood Community School Corporation began the process of terminating Hockersmith one day after his arrest.

“A teacher should be teaching his students, not seducing them. This three year prison sentence will be more than a teachable moment for this former educator,” said Johnson County Prosecutor Lance Hamner.

“I absolutely will not tolerate this kind of behavior by anyone who is in a position of trust with a child. I hope this prison sentence serves as a warning,” he added.

As part of his sentencing, Hockersmith will have to register as a sex offender.