Former KSU professor sentenced to 8 months in prison


Willie Harrell 

Dana Miller

Former Kent State professor Willie Harrell was sentenced Monday to eight months in prison after pleading guilty to a fifth-degree felony in July.

Harrell, 45, who was an English professor with the university since 2003, will now be listed as a Tier 1 sex offender, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

On Aug. 26, 2015, Harrell arranged for a meet up with a 15-year-old boy, whom he met online, for a sexual relationship in the parking lot of Smith Elementary School in Akron.

Following his hearing, Harrell was dismissed from his position at the university, said Eric Mansfield, executive director of media relations.

Harrell initially pleaded guilty last September to importuning and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Prior to his sentence, Harrell reportedly was released from jail with a $25,000 bond. He was then found attempting to flee the country via the Canadian border last November, according to

On March 22, Harrell was found by authorities in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, where he was then set to be extradited to Akron.

Harrell’s reason for fleeing was said to be due to avoiding his pending prosecution, reported.

Dana Miller is the diversity editor, contact her at [email protected]