Teacher fired for 'Sexting' - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teacher fired for 'Sexting'

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Albany High School teacher was fired for sending sexual text messages to a teenage student, then driving to a hotel to meet her.

It was during a sleepover celebration for the girl's basketball team winning the region championship. The girl's coaches stepped in and confronted the teacher when he got to the hotel.

He's since been fired from the system and reported to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, but no criminal charges have been filed.

The incident happened on February 17th at the Comfort Suites on Dawson Road. It was late in the night and students were apparently swapping phones around.

According to the police Chief and incident reports, one girl's phones ended up in the hand's of her coach who didn't like what she read.

According to a school police incident report, the Albany High Girl's basketball team was celebrating a victory at Comfort Suites Hotel. Coach Telly Turner had one girl's cell phone when it received two text messages from teacher Abraham Wesley asking if she was asleep and who she was in the bed with.

The coach replied back, pretending to be the girl... and in turn received explicit messages from Wesley, stating she was sexy and that he wanted to have sex with her. And it didn't end there.

"Ultimately, the caller came to the Comfort Inn with the intention of meeting this student apparently out by the dumpster out back," said School Board Attorney Tommy Coleman.   

But she didn't show up. "Instead of meeting the student, the coaches were there," said Coleman.   

Coach Turner confronted Wesley and told him to stay away from her team and her players. She reported the case to the principal who contacted school police.

According to the report, Wesley admitted to police that he texted the student, but that he didn't really believe she would leave the hotel and that he was actually going to tell the coach on her. But even with that confession, he wasn't charged.

"In this instance, I think there was an educated judgement of what they had and they went forward with what they had and they didn't feel like they had enough to make a case even though they felt certain that it happened," said Coleman.   

School System Attorney Tommy Coleman says that's because the girl apparently deleted the messages from her phone, and police didn't subpoena those phone records. And because the coaches intervened rather than calling police immediately.

"It is a matter that they would have probably been able to make a case, better opportunity to make a case, if in fact, law enforcement had been brought in immediately they could have taken charge of the investigation and been there and also this could have taken custody of the phone itself and the messages rather than having it deleted."

Regardless, after we brought it to the attention of school officials, Coleman says he told the police department to pass along the case for review.

"After I reviewed it the other day I suggested that not withstanding whether it be difficult to make a case or not that it be forwarded on to the D.A. for whatever disposition they would like to make."

Even if it is determined there are no criminal charges here, Mr. Wesley may lose his privilege to teach.

John Grant, Chief Investigator for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission said Abraham Wesley's case is under investigation by his organization and a decision is expected mid-June.

Abraham Wesley was not this girl's teacher, but he assisted the basketball team.

The case has been forwarded to the District Attorney's office for review.

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