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Former Teacher Accused of Sexual Abuse of Student Arrested

ELEANOR, WV (WOWK) - UPDATE: 1/12/17 @ 5 p.m.

A former Putnam County teacher accused of sexually abusing one of his underage students has been arrested.

Kevin Neal is charged with sexual abuse by a parent or guardian and soliciting a minor via a computer.

He was picked up by United States Marshals at Charleston Area Medical Center Behavioral Center.

He is being held on a $100,000 cash only bond.

Neal taught a law enforcement class at Putnam Career and Technical Center.

Court documents say Neal abused his student-victim inside of his Eleanor classroom.

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UPDATE: 1/11/17 @ 5:22 p.m.

Former Putnam County Teacher, Kevin Neal, has been charged with two felonies following a two month investigation.

Neal is accused of sexually abusing one of his underage students.

He is charged with soliciting a minor via a computer and sexual abuse by a parent or guardian.

According to court documents, Neal used his school e-mail address to solicit photos of the victim.  All of the physical abuse took place inside of his classroom at Putnam Career and Technical Center.

"He's just a bad guy.  He was in a position that allowed him to be a bad guy and that's probably why he went after that position in the first place," said Chief Deputy Eric Hayzlett, of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department.  "To me, somebody who puts themselves into a position where they have access to children, as a predator like this man has done, makes him so much worse to me, personally.  So yes, the fact that our detectives worked this through and was able to and were able to obtain warrants, it's very satisfying."

Neal both signed consent for detectives to forensically download his cellphone and a search warrant was obtained to do so. Evidence was collected from the phone that corroborated the victim's narrative.

If you have any information as to where Kevin Neal could be, you're asked to contact detectives with the Putnam County Sheriff's Office immediately.

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UPDATE: 12/11/17 @ 6:45 p.m.

At Putnam County's school board meeting this evening, Putnam County Superintendent John Hudson recommended the termination of Kevin Neal.

Neal, who was an instructor at Putnam County Career and Technical Center is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with at least one of his students. 

At tonight's board meeting, I recommended the termination of teacher Kevin Neal. Although Mr. Neal was afforded the right to a hearing before the board, he did not appear. The board unanimously accepted my recommendation to terminate Mr. Neal's employment with the school system. Unfortunately, Mr. Neal's recent conduct has been wholly unacceptable, and illegal in nature.  His conduct was immediately at the time reported to local law enforcement and to the West Virginia Department of Education.  Given that law enforcement continues to investigate Mr. Neal, it would not be appropriate for me to discuss specifics regarding the allegations against him.  I will say that our employees are required by law to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our students. Our employees are also required by law to demonstrate responsible citizenship by maintaining a high standard of conduct, self-control, and moral/ethical behavior.  The Board and I believe that Mr. Neal failed in doing so, and the school system acted quickly in terminating his employment. - Superintendent John Hudson  

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ORIGINAL: 12/11/17 @ 5:45 p.m.

When you send your child off to school,  you place all of your trust into the men and women who are supposed to be keeping them safe.

"We need to take care of the victim in this," Chief Deputy Eric Hayzlett said Monday.  "We also need to make sure that this is a valid complaint and that appears to be so at this time."

An instructor at Putnam County Career and Technical Center is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with at least one of his students.  The class he teaches at the school is hard to believe- law enforcement. 

Putnam County deputies said allegations like these hit home.  Many of them are mom and dads themselves.  So in terms of investigating, they said they didn't waste any time.  Hayzlett said, "As a parent, you're a parent, I'm a parent.  This is scary.  You send your kids off to school and really, they spend the biggest part of their day with someone who isn't their parent.  We levied all of our resources on it that day when we got the initial complaint and it just takes a while to sort these things out."

Because charges are forthcoming in the case, 13 News has decided to not release the suspect's name at this time.  

"My understanding from the school board is that he's not working over there right now," Hayzlett said.

Authorities said the instructor is suspended from his position at the school.  At last check-  neither his name nor the class he teaches is listed on the school's website. 

According to paperwork acquired by 13 News, the suspect resigned from Ben Franklin Career Center on June 30, 2017 where he also taught Law Enforcement classes.  The reason for his resignation was "personal", according to that personnel agenda.

Representatives with Marshall University confirmed Monday that the suspect is a current graduate student this term.

Deputies with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department said charges are forthcoming.

Stay with 13 News for more on this developing story.

     


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