A Forsyth County man was ordered Wednesday to spend 10 years of his 20-year sentence in prison after being found guilty of statutory rape earlier this month.
A jury convicted Todd Algren, 48, of having sex with a 14-year-old student at his All About Diving business in 2008.
“I still maintain my innocence,” Algren said prior to sentencing Wednesday morning.
Superior Court Chief Judge Jeffrey Bagley responded by saying it was Algren’s right to do so, but “the jury has spoken.”
“You took advantage of this girl because she was, shall we say, low-hanging fruit for you,” Bagley said. “She was a troubled young lady to want to have sex with a 40-year-old man, but she was in your care as a teacher ... and you violated that trust.”
After his release from prison, Algren will spend 10 years on probation. He also could face a hearing to determine whether he should pay for the girl’s mental health treatment.
It is the Forsyth County News’ policy not to identify victims of sexual assaults.
The girl’s aunt and legal guardian addressed the court before sentencing, noting that the family “paid for scuba diving lessons, not this nightmare.”
According to the woman, the girl needed to be home schooled after the incident and she and the family had been “greatly, greatly impacted.”
“[Algren] didn’t feel guilty for what he did,” she said. “He felt justified ... which is horrible, despicable. He should have known better, but he obviously didn’t care.”
Algren’s attorney, Jim Hardy, told Bagley that Algren stands by his initial plea of not guilty. He went on to talk about Algren’s accomplishments and volunteer work, as well as the impact the prison sentence would have on his 11-year-old son.
Hardy said Algren’s contributions to his son’s life and education are “in my mind, the real showing of who Todd is.”
Algren’s father, Terrance, also spoke to the judge about his son, who he described as the “best son in the world.”
“He’s a wonderful father,” said Terrance Algren, adding that he was overwhelmed.
Hardy asked for Algren to serve five years in prison, with the rest on probation.
Bagley, however, agreed with the state’s sentence request of 10 years in prison, calling it a “serious, serious case that must be dealt with in a serious manner.”
With the exception of his son, Algren also was barred by Bagley from any unsupervised contact with anyone younger than 16 and from frequenting any locations before 8 p.m., including movie theaters, amusement parks and playgrounds, where minors could be present.
Algren has 30 days to appeal the verdict. If funding allows, Hardy said, “we’re going to appeal.”