Whitesburg KY

Teacher is focus of child sex probe

The Kentucky State Police Electronic Crimes Branch and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force are investigating a Letcher County school district teacher who allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old female student, then continued to send her explicit photos and texts via Snapchat.

The male teacher had previously been suspended from his job as a middle school teacher for the same type of allegations, but a KSP Post 13 investigation of that incident lapsed in the spring after The Mountain Eagle began asking about the case. Both police and the school district said the allegations were unsubstantiated and the teacher was reinstated at a different school prior to the time the latest incidents were alleged to have occurred.

Neither the teacher nor the girl is being identified by name in the newspaper because of the sensitivity of the allegations and the fact that charges have not been filed.

According to documents obtained by The Mountain Eagle, the latest incidents were reported to Kentucky State Police about two weeks ago by the mother of the girl, who said her older daughter had seen explicit pictures of sex acts on the Snapchat account on the 15-year-old’s cell phone. One of the photos included the face of a man she identified as the teacher. The texts purportedly included discussions of past sexual acts. Police say they interviewed both girls, and the teacher, and seized the teacher’s cell phone after he refused to give them the pass code, or let them see the contents of his Snapchat account.

Police have now obtained search warrants to open and search the memories of two cell phones, and to obtain information from Snapchat.

According to court documents, the 15-year-old girl told police that she and the teacher had sexual intercourse during the 2018 Mountain Heritage Festival in the teacher’s car while it was parked in the woods. The girl told police there had been earlier allegations that she denied at the time, and after the investigation was dropped she and the teacher resumed their relationship using Snapchat. It was not clear whether these are the same allegations that came to The Mountain Eagle’s attention in May of this year.

The teacher has been accused of sexually abusing students in the past, but was cleared of those allegations. This is the first time that court documents have surfaced alleging that photographic evidence of the liaisons exist.

Police were seen at the teacher’s home last week, and other court documents indicate the earlier investigation was already going on in early April.

The case is expected to go before a Letcher County grand jury, documents show.

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