Sheriff: Evidence in nude photo scandal involving Union Co. teac - FOX Carolina 21

Sheriff: Evidence in nude photo scandal involving Union Co. teacher turned over to SLED

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Leigh Anne Arthur (FOX Carolina 3/1/2016) Leigh Anne Arthur (FOX Carolina 3/1/2016)
UNION, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A 16-year-old has been arrested and charged after nude photos were circulated of a Union County High School teacher, prompting her to resign.

Leigh Anne Arthur said the student spread nude photos of her through the school She also claims that someone placed nude photos with obscenities on them in her mailbox and said she  filed a police report about the matter.

Arthur told an officer that she stepped out of a classroom at Union County Career And Technology Center on Feb. 18 and left her cellphone behind.

While Arthur was out of the classroom, a 16-year-old male student went through pictures on her cellphone, according to an incident report.

Police announced Friday that a teen had been charged with computer crimes and aggravated voyeurism.

Police said the aggravated voyeurism charge came after a forensic investigation of the teen's phone revealed that the teacher's photo and other images of sexual nature were stored in a separate passcode protected file.

Jeff Stribble, director of personnel and student services for Union County Schools, declined to provide a statement on Arthur's resignation.

Stribble said the student could be disciplined after police finish their investigation. 

No disciplinary action had taken place as of Wednesday. 

Arthur tells FOX Carolina that she felt forced to resign, but Stribble disputes that.

He said Arthur resigned a day after being confronted. 

Students have launched an online petition called Bring Back Mrs. Arthur.

As of early Wednesday afternoon, the petition has received almost 1,500 signatures and several hundred comments.

The petition states:

Leigh Anne Arthur is the victim of a blatant attack of her privacy. Personal photographs were illegally obtained by a student and were sent to other students in the school (Union County High). After being escorted off of school property, we (the students) are left to believe that she has been forced to, or given little choice but to resign. Mrs.Arthur has not only shown tremendous dedication to her students, but also the mechatronics program itself, often reaching out to local businesses and colleges to get materials that would not normally be available for the class.

With that being said, the student(s) responsible have not received any sort of punishment. The circumstances in which Mrs.Arthur was let go is unacceptable, and must be corrected. We strongly urge you to sign and share this petition.

Arthur filed another police report after her husband checked their mail on Tuesday.

Union County Sheriff David Taylor said four nude photos were placed in the couple's mailbox.

Someone wrote sexually obscene statements and "You got what you deserved" on the back of a photo. Taylor said whoever put the photos into the mailbox will face felony charges. 

David Eubanks with Union County Schools said Arthur is not the victim she's portraying herself to be to the media.

Eubanks said students told school officials that she allowed them to use her phone on a regular basis and that she could be terminated for leaving students unsupervised. 

Eubanks said the school does not care that she had nude photos on her phone, but it became the school's business when they got into students' hands. He also said that the incident could have been prevented had students been properly supervised. 

Eubanks issued an updated statement on Friday:

 It is my understanding that one student has been charged with the crime of transmitting pornographic material using electronic media.  The exact charges have not been provided to the school district by local police who have been involved with this incident from the start.  The student will now also face possible expulsion from the school District.

It is truly unfortunate that a teacher charged with proper supervision and care of students failed to fulfill that responsibility in her classroom.  Evidence indicates that Leigh Anne Arthur was not in her assigned position at the time of the incident.  Evidence also indicates that she allowed students to use her personal cell phone on a regular and routine basis.  Evidence also indicates that the phone was routinely left on her desk for student use and was never locked.

Ms. Arthur has used the media to transmit false information obviously intended for the purpose of deflecting the incident totally to students.  The evidence available, points to the extent of her false statements.

Her failure to supervise her students along with allowing students routine access to her personal cell phone constitute an evident unfitness for Ms. Arthur to continue as a classroom teacher.  We are not aware of charges that may be filed against Ms. Arthur.  We do know that her failure to properly supervise students entrusted to her care will negatively impact the lives of students and their parents.

On Mar. 10, Sheriff David Taylor said evidence in the case has been turned over to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

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