A Stoney Creek high school teacher will spend three years in prison for two sexual-related charges involving a former student.

Giuseppe Graziano, 55, was sentenced in Hamilton criminal court on Thursday. The former Cathedral Secondary School teacher was convicted of two counts of sexual interference with a person under 14 and sexual exploitation.

The Crown wanted five to six-year sentence, the defense two, said Alex Munoz, one of Graziano's lawyers.

"(The judge) had a very difficult job, but he came to a fair conclusion," Munoz said. His client, he added, is "distraught."

The victim's name and the witnesses are subject to a publication ban. But the victim testified during the trial in August that he had engaged in several sexual acts with Graziano, his former religion teacher, between Grades 9 and 11 from 2007 to 2010.

Their relationship began with after-school conversations about the victim's troubles at home. The victim told the courts that Graziano began touching him as the class was being shown a film. He also hired the student for work at his home and trailer, including cleaning his chicken coop.

It wasn't the first time Graziano was linked with sexual offences involving students. In 2013, he was sentenced to six months for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student several years prior.