Doug Edwards is handcuffed following his sentencing hearing Thursday in Ketchikan Superior Court. (KRBD photo by Leila Kheiry)

Former Ketchikan High School teacher and local pastor Doug Edwards was sentenced Thursday to serve six years in jail for sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl who was a student and member of his congregation.

Doug Edwards was charged last spring with six counts of sexual abuse of a minor for groping the 14-year-old girl’s chest at the high school, at his home and at the church where he was a pastor. He pleaded guilty in early February to one consolidated charge of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor through a plea agreement.

During the sentencing hearing, Superior Court Judge William Carey accepted the plea agreement, and sentenced Edwards to 18 years with 12 years suspended. Edwards will be eligible for good time, which could cut his time in jail by up to a third.

Superior Court Judge William Carey listens to the victim’s mother during a sentencing hearing for former Ketchikan High School teacher Doug Edwards. (KRBD photo by Leila Kheiry)

Once released, Edwards will face10 years’ probation, and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The victim and her family had an opportunity to speak during the sentencing hearing. The victim participated by phone and declined to comment. But her mother and grandmother both spoke.

Her mother read from her daughter’s written statement. In it, the victim said she doubted her own ability to understand what’s normal, and who was at fault.

“He has kids, a wife, a reputation. Why would he abuse a student? Why would he pick me? He has nothing to gain from this and everything to lose,” her mother read. “What