The plea was made during a pre-trial conference Thursday in Muskegon County Circuit Court.
Michael D’Oyly, 55, of Fruitport, faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 9.
D’Oyly was a paraprofessional in music classes for at least 10 years in the Mona Shores school district, said Muskegon County Prosecuting Attorney Randy Kostrzewa.
Charges were brought against the musician in January after a student's parents discovered sexually explicit text messages on the child’s cell phone, Kostrzewa said. The student then reported it to school officials, who contacted police.
D’Oyly was suspended during the investigation, and later released from his duties in the school district.
He was also the organist at First Presbyterian Church in Grand Haven, and was dismissed from that job in mid-January.
In exchange for his plea, three lesser counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charges against him were dismissed.
The difference in the charges is determined by the age of the student, Kostrzewa said. Second-degree criminal sexual conduct involves sexual contact with a person under age 16 when the suspect is employed at the school where the student was enrolled at the time. Fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct is much the same, with the exception that the victim was under 18.
Kostrzewa said the reported contact was primarily fondling of the buttocks area.
“This was conduct that occurred over time,” he said. “This was spread out over several years with several students — all male.”
Kostrzewa said predators do not belong in schools.
"Lengthy incarceration is the only appropriate response when you sexually assault a child," he said. "I applaud the courage of the victims for coming forward and the Mona Shores school district for squarely addressing this issue."
Kostrzewa said D'Oyly also faced charges in Oakland County. But the agreement was that, if he pleaded to the Muskegon County cases, he would not be charged in suburban Detroit.
The Oakland County case concerns an incident when he took students to Detroit for an overnight visit to see the Dream Cruise, the prosecutor explained.
D’Oyly’s bond was reduced to $75,000 cash/surety on each charge. Kostrzewa said that means D’Oyly had to come up with $15,000 to get out of jail.
No other charges are expected to come out of the information the prosecuting attorneys have now, Kostrzewa said.