A former Wenatchee school teacher will serve a six-month jail term after pleading guilty to a sex offense against a minor 10 days ago.

Chelan County Superior Court Judge Travis Brandt handed down the sentence Thursday in agreement with a plea deal for 62-yeaar-old Joe Vincent Ells.

Ells pleaded guilty to one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes while admitting he kissed a second-grade student while teaching at Columbia Elementary School in the 2005-06 school year.

His plea deal requires he register as a sex offender once he's released from jail.

He's also required to get a psychosexual evaluation and sign a two-year no-contact order with the victim.

Jury selection was in progress when Ells entered his guilty plea on July 25.

He was originally arrested in August of 2019 on charges of first-degree child molestation. Ells was released the same day on a $10,000 bond.

His trial was delayed when a number of his hearings in 2020 and 2021 were canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic. One judge was also disqualified in the case.

Court documents were filed as late as July 24 in preparation for a jury trial before Ells entered his guilty plea the following day.

"I have come to understand and appreciate the pain I have caused the victim in this case," said Ells in his plea. "Regardless of the fact that I thought at the time that I was close friends with her parents, I should have never kissed her."

The six-month sentence is consistent with recommendation of the prosecuting and defense attorneys in the plea deal.

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