A former teacher who was accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl inside a classroom closet in a Palm Beach County, Florida, school has been sentenced to prison.

The former Independence Middle School teacher, 41-year-old Daniel Norment, was sentenced to three years in jail Monday after he accepted two "best interest" guilty pleas. He faces one count of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and one count of offense against students by authority figures but does not admit guilt, The Palm Beach Post reported.

Norment taught in the school for six years till he was arrested in May when the now 18-year-old victim revealed the abuse. The girl said Norment "groomed" her while she attended middle school and that she used to visit him after entering high school.

"[The victim] told me Norment used her and realized it was wrong for him and her to have sex at his school. She stated she stopped talking to Norment altogether and [has] never heard from him since the sexual battery," an investigator said, according to NY Post.

The victim also filed a lawsuit against the Palm Beach County School District last month claiming the officials "allowed and enabled" Norment to sexually assault her while he taught in the school. The lawsuit alleged the school officials did not interfere even after raising red flags.

"Norment's actions toward Jane Doe reflect a textbook case of 'grooming,' a tactic employed by pedophiles to cultivate an inappropriate relationship with a minor so that the pedophile can manipulate, exploit, and abuse the minor," the lawsuit said.

Norment was previously removed from his role as girls' basketball coach after he allowed players to change in his classroom.

In addition to the prison term, the court also sentenced Norment to four years of probation. As part of the sentencing agreement, Norment cannot have contact with minors and he has to enter a sex offender treatment program. Even after his prison term, he will not be allowed to work at schools.

Representation. A gavel. MiamiAccidentLawyer/Pixabay