LA PORTE, Texas - A former La Porte high school teacher and coach has been accused of having an improper relationship with a student.
Kevin Andrew Wheeler, 31, has been charged with two counts of improper relationship between educator and student.
La Porte police said Wheeler was a teacher and coach when the relationship with his 17-year-old female algebra student allegedly occurred during the 2011-2012 school year. According to court documents, Wheeler and the student had sexual contact in his classroom in May during school hours.
Wheeler appeared in court on Thursday for the second time this week, bringing his mother and defense attorney.
"He's not making any statements. We've entered a plea of not guilty and we haven't seen any evidence yet," defense attorney Ed Barnett said.
Detectives said that the girl sent Wheeler a Facebook friend request in August and the two then began exchanging messages that were sexual in nature. The two also communicated on cellphones and through private email accounts, police said.
Wheeler asked the girl to send nude photographs of herself to his cellphone, and she did, according to court documents.
Police said that they interviewed Wheeler and he admitted to exchanging inappropriate messages with the girl. He also admitted to having limited sexual contact with the girl, but he denied most of what the girl claimed, investigators said.
La Porte Independent School District officials said Wheeler's employment has been terminated.
Wheeler was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Harris County Jail. He was released on $100,000 bond after his first court appearance.
La Porte ISD issued the following statement:
"Based on allegations regarding the sexual impropriety of a La Porte High School teacher with a 17-year-old female student, the district immediately notified the La Porte Police Department, and the teacher was placed on leave on May 16. Also that day, the district reported its findings to the State Board for Educator Certification for possible action against the teacher's credentials. The teacher was terminated from the district at the June 12 Board of Trustees meeting. The district cooperated fully with the La Porte Police Department during its investigation. All other questions should be directed to the Police Department."
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