Ex-Southwestern PE teacher pleads guilty Friday to battery on female students

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Former Southwestern Middle School physical education teacher Peter Anders pleaded guilty Friday to three of the seven counts of felony battery charges against him.

Anders admitted to charges that accused him of poking two different girls in their sides near their breasts. He also admitted to swatting a girl on her buttocks with a shoe as he walked past her, according to the plea agreement, the charging information and the probable cause affidavit.

Some of the girls Anders admitted to touching in a rude, angry or insolent manner attended his hearing and watched him plead guilty, prosecutors noted during the hearing.

Peter J. Anders, right, pleaded guilty Friday, June 7, 2024, to three counts of battery on three different students when he was a teacher at Southwestern Middle School in 2021. His sentencing is July 19.
Peter J. Anders, right, pleaded guilty Friday, June 7, 2024, to three counts of battery on three different students when he was a teacher at Southwestern Middle School in 2021. His sentencing is July 19.

Anders' crimes all happened at school during the school day, and all seven victims were students.

Tippecanoe Superior 1 Judge Randy Williams took the plea agreement under advisement until July 19, when Anders is scheduled for sentencing. The four remaining battery charges will be dismissed at sentencing, according to the agreement.

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Anders signed the plea agreement on April 19, and Friday's hearing formalized the agreement on the record. Anders' convictions are all Level 6 felonies, each carrying a possible prison sentence between six and 30 months.

The plea agreement, however, calls for Anders' incarceration to be limited to no more than three years in the Tippecanoe County Jail or community corrections or suspended and on probation. Two of the sentences will be sentenced as consecutive and the third sentence will be served concurrently — or at the same time as the consecutive sentence.

Prosecutors asked that Anders be taken into custody and jailed after the hearing, but Williams denied that request, noting that Anders was on community correction monitoring, he's attended his court hearings and his crimes were low-level felonies.

Reach Ron Wilkins at rwilkins@jconline.com. Follow on Twitter: @RonWilkins2.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: Ex-Southwestern teacher pleads guilty to battery on female students