.

North Oconee Parapro Arrested, Faces Charge of Sending Nude Pictures to Student

Jeremy Wetzel, 24, is in jail without bond and has been fired, law enforcement and school officials say.

Updated: Dec. 14 2:45 p.m.

Update:

Sheriff Scott Berry reports Wetzel posted a $10,000 bond.  According to jail booking records, he was released on Dec. 8.

Original:

A teacher's aide at is behind bars for allegedly sending nude photos of himself to a female student, officials announced Wednesday.

Jeremy Wetzel, 24, of Clotfelter Road, has been charged with child molestation stemming from the sending of electronic images of a sexual nature and not a physical act, according to a news release from the Oconee County Sheriff's Office.

A friend of the 15-year-old victim reported the situation to school officials, Sheriff Scott Berry said.

Brook Whitmire, assistant superintendent for Human Resources for the school system, said Wetzel was immediately relieved of his duties and told to leave campus when alleged inappropriate actions were found to have merit.

"There's nothing more important to all of us than the safety and well-being of our students," he said.

Wetzel had worked at the school as a paraprofessional at North Oconee since July 2010, Whitmire said, and was a substitute teacher from Dec. 2009 - July 2010. Once approved, through a process of employment that includes a background check, substitutes are placed on an active substitute list and, depending on need, could be called to any school, Whitmire explained.

Within one hour of being contacted by school officials, the arrested Wetzel at his home,  Berry said.

There are four deputies working on the case and investigators are examining  some electronic devices that were seized, he said.

"There's a lot more ahead of us," he said. "We're working as quickly and as thoroughly as possible."

Berry said it is too early to know whether Wetzel may have had similar inappropriate contact with other students.

The incident is under investigation and additional charges may be brought as the investigation unfolds, he noted.

Wetzel is currently being held without bond in the Oconee County Jail pending his first appearance in front of a judge.

Xardox December 08, 2011 at 01:58 AM
A correctly prompt response for a heinous act. That's the way the system is supposed to work.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something