A former State College Area High School teacher was arraigned Thursday morning on charges of distributing sexually explicit materials to minors and corruption of minors.
Wesley Amy, 27, of Bellefonte, taught computer courses at the school and, between November 2013 and May 2014, reportedly sent sexually explicit messages to one female student and solicited nude photos from two others, according to the criminal complaint.
Amy reportedly sent “sexually suggestive” photos and messages to one of the students via social media, according to State College police. He also reportedly told a student that she would receive a better grade in exchange for nude photos, police said.
He reportedly encouraged a third student to take an advanced computer course without having to take a prerequisite class, police said. She took the class and he allegedly offered to give her a passing grade and waive the final exam in exchange for nude photos of the student, police said.
Amy’s resignation was accepted by the school board June 23 and was effective May 8, according to board meeting minutes.
State College Police Chief Tom King and State College Area School District Superintendent Bob O’Donnell spoke at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Amy was a new teacher in the district during the 2013-14 school year, O’Donnell said, and worked for seven months in the district. All new hires are required to pass the state police criminal history record check, the child abuse report and the FBI criminal record check.
He is no longer certified to teach in Pennsylvania, O’Donnell said.
“In matters of dealing with student safety, our protocol is to immediately involve our police officers,” he said.
As soon as the information came to the attention of the school, King said, the officer assigned to the school was notified.
“Literally, the principal walked down the hallway to the officer’s office and explained what he had just heard from the victim or the victim’s family,” he said. “This launched a criminal investigation by the State College Police Department.”
Since May, the police have been been analyzing evidence to determine the validity of the allegations, King said, and based on evidence and testimonies, charges were filed.
The police will make no further comments on the charges, King said. Because the charges are in the district attorney’s hands, future comments will be made through the Centre County District Attorney’s Office.
Matt McLenahen, Amy’s attorney, said it was too early to make a statement or assess the case until discovery occurs.
Magisterial District Judge Carmine Prestia set Amy’s bail at $25,000 unsecured. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, but McLenahen said he intends to enter a waiver on Monday.