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S0Noma
01-08-2008, 10:50 AM
Ex-Moon teacher charged in sending photos, texts to teen

By Bonnie Pfister
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, January 6, 2008



A former Moon Area High School gym teacher and volleyball coach was arrested and charged with sending nude photos of herself and suggestive text messages to a 14-year-old male student, Moon police said.

Beth Ann Chester, 26, of Scott was arrested Friday and charged with nine criminal counts, including three counts of child sexual abuse, two counts of unlawful contact with a minor and one count each of endangering the welfare of a child and criminal solicitation, according to Moon police and court records. Police said they plan to file an additional charge of statutory sexual assault against Chester.

The boy told police he thought he was in love with Chester and the only physical contact involved a hug just before holiday break, according to the police affidavit filed to support the criminal charges.

Jack Cambest, Moon's solicitor, said the matter is being handled by police and that the district will notify the state Department of Education this week, which is required by state law.

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"Obviously, with something like this, we're very concerned," Cambest said. "There's not much we can do at this point in time. If any students need help or counseling, it will be available."

Chester, a freshman physical education teacher, abruptly resigned from her job Dec. 27, citing "personal reasons," police said. School district officials contacted police Jan. 3 after other staffers suggested Chester might have had inappropriate contact with a student, police said.

Cambest said he knew of no other students coming forward about Chester.

Police said they searched Chester's home and her cell phone records. The student also allowed police to see the texts sent to his cell phone, according to the affidavit. They found three photos Chester allegedly sent of herself -- two of them of her genitals -- to the student, as well as a nude photo the boy allegedly sent of himself to Chester. The ex-teacher is accused of commenting in sexual terms in text messages about the student's body, the affidavit said.

The student's parents originally found the alleged messages, the affidavit said. The student's parents called Chester and met her Dec. 26 at the Starbucks in Robinson Town Centre, the complaint said. A day later, she quit her job.

The boy told police that Chester first sent him a text message in late October, and that a relationship developed as Chester wrote him excuses to be out of class and with her, the affidavit said. She allegedly told the student that her husband had been abusive toward her.

Chester remained in Allegheny County Jail on Saturday in lieu of $50,000 cash bond. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

If convicted as charged, Chester could face as many as 58 years in prison and fines of up to $130,000. A conviction of statutory sexual assault could bring 10 years in prison and an additional $25,000 fine.

The incident is the second time in three years that a Moon coach has been accused of having a sexually inappropriate relationship with a student.

In June 2005, former girls basketball coach Thomas Szczepankowski, 37, was accused of having an intimate relationship with a player starting when she was 17.

Szczepankowski pleaded no contest in May 2006 to a corruption of minors charge and was sentenced to three years of probation. He resigned from his coaching and physical education teaching jobs about a month before he was charged.

web page (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_546125.html) http://www.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2008-01-05/0106-chester-b.jpg

hondo
01-08-2008, 03:05 PM
Must be some awfully horny teachers out there these days.
I taught 30 years and never said one inappropriate thing
to my students.
Had several offers which I ignored.
The way I looked at it, I was responsible for those parent's child. That made it easy to be honorable.