GALLIPOLIS — A former Gallia Academy Middle School teacher charged with sending inappropriate pictures to a 14-year-old pleaded guilty last week to disseminating matter harmful to juveniles in the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County.
John C. Seals, 26, Gallipolis, the former assistant band director at Gallia Academy Middle School, pleaded guilty on Thursday to texting inappropriate photos of himself to one of his students between December 1, 2011, and January 31, 2012.
An investigation into this case began last February after administrators with the Gallipolis City School District contacted the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office in reference to a teacher who had allegedly been having an inappropriate relationship with a student. Deputies responded to Gallia Academy Middle School to speak with Seals and investigate the incident.
According to the police report, Seals admitted to investigators that, after he and the 14-year-old student began speaking, over time they began to communicate frequently and eventually began exchanging cell phone text messages — messages that ultimately included the exchange of inappropriate photographs of both the teacher and the student.
Seals was indicted by a grand jury on August 15, 2012, and, after being arrested on September 24, the defendant was arraigned, pleading not guilty to disseminating matter harmful to the victim, who was 14 years of age at the time of the incident, a fifth degree felony.
Seals was later released on a $5,000, own recognizance bond.
The negotiated plea agreement deadline in this case was later extended from January 31 to February 8, 2013, and during a scheduled plea hearing on February 21, Seals appeared before Common Pleas Judge D. Dean Evans and pleaded guilty to the charge against him.
A pre-sentence investigation was ordered to be completed prior to sentencing in this case by the Common Pleas Adult Probation Department.
A final hearing in this case has been scheduled for March 19 in the common pleas courtroom.