Connellsville High teacher accused of 'sexting' student
Charges have been filed against a Connellsville Area High School teacher accused of "sexting" a female student at the school.
Kevin Lee Bell, 26, of 176 Gimlet Hill Road, Mt. Pleasant, was charged with one count of sending sexual materials to a minor and one count of corruption of a minor at District Judge Joseph M. George Jr.'s office on Wednesday.
The charges resulted after the 17-year-old girl told her mother that Bell had texted her pictures of his private parts as well as video of himself committing a sex act.
According to the criminal complaint, state police at Uniontown interviewed the student on Monday. She related that Bell was her math teacher last year, that she and Bell always spoke in school and that he was nice to her.
She said that around March 9, Bell messaged her on Facebook, and she tried adding him to her account, but he told her that she could not add him until she was 18 and had graduated from high school.
She told police that the two continued to message each other that night on Facebook and then exchanged cellphone numbers. She also said she texted Bell and told him that her birthday was in a couple of days. The student said Bell sent her a text saying not to say anything or he would never talk to her again.
Later that evening, the student told police that Bell sent her two pictures of his private parts and she sent him nude photographs of herself. She also said that after she went to sleep, Bell continued to text her and tried calling her more than 20 times, according to the complaint.
Two days later, Bell sent her the explicit video.
A few days later, he sent a text asking her to delete everything and not to text him in school or even speak to him, she told police.
When Trooper James Pierce interviewed Bell at his residence, he reportedly said he had been drinking when he sent the student the pictures. He admitted he may have texted the video but did not remember. He also said he knew the student was 17 years old at the time and provided police with a written statement.
Bell, a 2008 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, was hired as a math teacher at the high school in 2009. He also coached the school's varsity basketball team for the past two seasons and spent time as an assistant coach on the boys basketball and baseball teams.
"He has been removed from the classroom," Connellsville Area School District interim Superintendent Tammy Stern said. "In addition to the police investigation, we are investigating at the district level."
Privacy concerns prevent her from saying how or when Bell stopped teaching, she said.
Stern also issued a written statement: "The health and safety of all of our students are paramount in any situation. Appropriate steps are taken to protect the students. We are unable to comment on any specific investigations because we would not want to compromise the process."
School director Gary Wandel, a member of the board's personnel and review committee, said: "We have to wait for the legal process to take place. He will not be back in the classroom unless he is exonerated of all charges. Any teacher under investigation is not allowed in the classroom until the investigation is complete."
Bell will be scheduled for a preliminary hearing before District Judge Ronald Haggerty Jr.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Founder of Z&M Cycle Sales in Hempfield killed in Florida motorcycle crash
- Starkey: Tomlin lived in his fears
- Steelers receiver Wheaton takes advantage of opportunity in breakout game
- Penguins’ reshuffled top line of Crosby, Dupuis, Kunitz looks familiar
- Increasing player salaries pinch financial flexibility of Pirates
- New Florence man charged with killing police officer
- NFL notebook: Report: No tears in Gronkowski’s knee
- Steelers notebook: Bryant confident in backup Jones if Big Ben can’t play
- West Virginia notebook: Mountaineers could factor into Kansas State bowl situation
- Opening day of deer season draws better crowds than a year ago
- School bus heavily damaged in Homewood fire