Hearing set for ex-Independence teacher charged in sex crimes
Posted by Chris Oberholtz, Multimedia Producer - email
INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV/AP) -
Authorities will make their case next month for trying an Independence band teacher on charges of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old student, sometimes at school.
During a court appearance Tuesday, a judge set a Jan. 30 preliminary hearing date for 27-year-old James N. Owens. He is free on bond after being charged last month with one count each of child enticement and child molestation.
His attorney, Eric Vernon, didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Jackson County prosecutors said Owens, a band teacher at William Chrisman High School, sent more than 1,500 texts to the girl, who was also a student, and made 100 phone calls. Detectives also discovered a partially nude picture of her on his cell phone.
Court records indicate the events occurred as far back as April 2010, when the girl would have been 12.
Others have told KCTV5 News that Owens was also employed at George Caleb Bingham Middle School, but Independence school officials have not confirmed that information.