The Perth Amboy middle school teacher who was convicted in May of sexually assaulting a student over a five-year period was sentenced to 20 years in state prison for his crimes Thursday.
Guillermo Santamaria, 59, was found guilty in May of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of sexual assault, and two counts of official misconduct, including a charge that he had sex with the student on school property after she turned 18 years old.
The Middlesex County Superior Court jury had deliberated for about two hours before convicting Santamaria on all five charges.
The sexual assault on the student began when the girl was 13, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.
Santamaria - who also goes by the name of William Santamaria - had faced up to 30 years in prison when he was convicted in May. He will also be required to register as a Megan's Law sex offender and will be on parole supervision for the rest of his life, said Jim O'Neill, spokesman for the prosecutor's office.
Santamaria's $250,000 bail had been immediately revoked and he was taken into custody at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick.
The investigation into the criminal sex acts began in April, 2010, when the victim contacted the prosecutor's office about the attacks.
After an investigation, Santamaria was arrested and brought to trial in April. Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Lynn Pilone presented evidence and testimonys howing that Santamaria, a social studies teacher for 16 years in Perth Amboy, sexually assaulted the girl on numerous occasions in Perth Amboy from the fall of 1997 up to the victim’s 18th birthday in 2002.