SIDNEY — An Anna High School substitute teacher has been placed on suspension pending criminal charges as a result of inappropriate behavior involving a student.
On Jan. 6 and 7, 2016, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office received two separate calls from concerned citizens regarding information of an Anna teacher sending nude photos to an underage Anna student.
On Jan. 8, the teacher and student were identified by follow-up calls and an investigation was conducted by Shelby County Detective Chris Brown.
The information obtained revealed that Mary Breth, 25, of Sidney, had sent text messages and a photo to a male student.
According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, the text messages began in 2013 and initially were flirtatious in nature and became more sexual in nature into 2014 and 2015.
It was also found that sometime in November 2015 Breth sent an inappropriate photo to the same student, the one photo that was sent was found to be of Breth with just underwear on and her arms covering her breasts.
Chief Deputy Jim Frye said the child was 14 when the communication first started.
The release said Breth was forthcoming with information regarding the details and was very cooperative with the investigator.
Breth will be charged with contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child and summonsed to appear in Shelby County Probate Court Juvenile Division.
Frye said the decision of what to charge was decided by the prosecutor and was based on the evidence presented.
“What determines this is, what was done by the teacher. She sent text messages and a photo. The messages, which were very inappropriate but not criminal in nature, the photo was bad but again did not meet the elements of a sexual crime. It was determined by the prosecutor that the photo did not meet certain requirements for a stronger charge, the photo, which was again very inappropriate it did not meet the requirements to be determined ‘nudity’ … no erogenous zones were shown,” he said.
He also added there were some issues with the case because all the evidence had been destroyed.
“All we had to go on was the child, the parents of the child and the confession of the teacher. If we didn’t have her confession we would probably not had a case at all. At that point it would have been all hearsay and without evidence to prove the allegation we would not have had enough to charge her with,” Frye said.
At this time, he said, the case is closed unless another child/student comes forward or they obtain additional evidence of an additional crime.
Frye said an administrative action by the governing board of state teachers would determine if she lost her teaching license for this offense.