UNION COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Union County high school student who took nude pictures from a teacher’s cell phone and sent them out, pleaded guilty to computer crimes in a family court hearing Thursday.
The Solicitor’s office says the charge for aggravated voyeurism was dropped.
The 16-year-old will receive community evaluation from the DJJ and will return to family court to receive his sentence, according to the Solicitor’s office.
The victim, Leigh Anne Arthur, filed a lawsuit against the Union County School District where she had worked since 2003.
Arthur is suing the district and interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks, claiming Breach of Contract, Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, and Defamation.
Arthur’s attorney, Jessica Salvini, says she never violated any school policies.
“When you take a look at the policies that are in place for teachers, there was not a single policy that Leigh Anne violated.”
The lawsuit seeks damages for “injury to reputation, mental suffering, and emotional distress” in addition to legal fees.
The lawsuit says Arthur was forced to resign or she would have had to go before the school board.
After the incident, the 16-year-old student who sent out the pictures was arrested and charged with aggravated voyeurism and computer crimes.
After the district’s Discipline Committee considered the student for possible expulsion, Eubanks says he no longer attends the school.
Union County Schools Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks released a statement in response to the arrest of a student in connection with the spreading of nude pictures of former teacher Leigh Anne Arthur.
Read the full statement from Dr. Eubanks:
It is my understanding that one student has been charged with the crime of transmitting pornographic material using electronic media. The exact charges have not been provided to the school district by local police who have been involved with this incident from the start. The student will now also face possible expulsion from the school District.
It is truly unfortunate that a teacher charged with proper supervision and care of students failed to fulfill that responsibility in her classroom. Evidence indicates that Leigh Anne Arthur was not in her assigned position at the time of the incident. Evidence also indicates that she allowed students to use her personal cell phone on a regular and routine basis. Evidence also indicates that the phone was routinely left on her desk for student use and was never locked.
Ms. Arthur has used the media to transmit false information obviously intended for the purpose of deflecting the incident totally to students. The evidence available, points to the extent of her false statements.
Her failure to supervise her students along with allowing students routine access to her personal cell phone constitute an evident unfitness for Ms. Arthur to continue as a classroom teacher. We are not aware of charges that may be filed against Ms. Arthur. We do know that her failure to properly supervise students entrusted to her care will negatively impact the lives of students and their parents.
Arthur claims the principal requires all teachers to be in the hallway, greeting students as they enter the classroom, which is where she was when the student took the photos from her phone.
She also says she only allowed one student, her nephew, to use her phone one time with her and his mother’s permission.