CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A former teacher’s aide accused of alleged abuse in the classroom has been sentenced to two years in prison, according to court officials.

James Lynch, a former teacher’s aide at Horace Mann Middle School, was sentenced in Kanawha County Circuit Court to two of the charges against him, according to the court officials. He pleaded guilty to those charges on April 25, 2022. Lynch received 12 months in prison for each count. The sentences are to be served consecutively.

Lynch was arrested on the charges in mid-October 2021 and had been terminated from his employment by the Kanawha County Board of Education earlier that same month. He had originally faced seven counts related to abuse allegations at the school.

The two charges Lynch pleaded guilty to stemmed from allegations that he pushed a non-communicative child onto a bean-bag chair.

According to Kanawha County Schools at the time of Lynch’s arrest, an assistant principal had first seen the alleged abuse incidents while reviewing security footage of the classroom from a day in May 2021. This led to school officials reviewing footage from the previous three months in which they said they found incidents involving Lynch that the board deemed “inappropriate.”

A teacher and two other aides from Horace Mann Middle School are also facing abuse allegations with multiple lawsuits filed by the families and guardians of multiple special needs students.