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Teacher's Aide Facing Criminal Charges

By: Jon Sonnheim Email
By: Jon Sonnheim Email

A teacher's aide at one Eastern Kentucky high school is facing criminal charges after school officials say they learned he had sexual images of a 16 year old student on his cell phone.

19 year old Derek Baird had only been working at South Laurel High School as a special education assistant since the beginning of the school year. School officials say they'd never had any complaints or any reason to believe Baird was involved in a relationship with the 16 year old until another teacher heard some rumors.

South Laurel High School Principal Regina Bishop says she knew what she had to do when she came in to work Tuesday morning after learning late Monday that one of her employees may have been in a relationship with a student.

"We talked about what happened, and he quickly admitted that he had a relationship," Bishop said.

School Resource Officer Ed Herd of the London Police says the 19 year old Baird had video on his cell phone of him and the 16 year old girl having a sexual relationship, a point that Laurel County Superintendent David Young says Baird readily admitted.

"He'd also indicated that he'd shown none of the pictures to anyone and that nothing had taken place at school," Young said.

The superintendent says Baird resigned from his position at South Laurel and was later arrested, charged with possession of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor. Officer Herd says that in Kentucky, sex with a 16 year old isn't illegal but taking sexual pictures of anyone under 18, is.

Baird is currently being held in the Laurel County Detention Center on a 50 thousand dollar cash bond.


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