Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

November 6, 2013

Plea hearing slated for former PikeView High School teacher

PRINCETON — A plea hearing has been set for a former PikeView High School teacher arrested on multiple sexual related charges involving students.

Jonathan Kirk, 34, a former physical education teacher and coach at the school, was arrested in March and charged with 18 felony charges including multiple counts of use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor; use of minors in filming sexually explicit conduct; distribution and display to minors of obscene matter; sexual abuse by a parent or custodian; and soliciting a minor via computer.

Kirk will be entering a plea deal to seven counts, each carrying a penalty of one to five years, Sgt. M.D. Clemons, with the Crimes Against Children Unit of the West Virginia State Police, said. Clemons was unsure of the specific charges Kirk will be pleading guilty to.

In a previous report, Clemons said the majority of the charges stemmed from events that occurred on the school grounds and the alleged victims were female students between the ages of 16 and 18 years old.

Clemons said after the hearing that the investigation began in December 2012 when the administrators at PikeView High School received a complaint. The principal then contacted the Mercer County Board of Education, which contacted the state police. The alleged activities, which had been happening on Internet social media, had been going on since 2010.

Kirk was under suspension from the school until the investigation was completed, Clemons said. However, he resigned before the board of education could hold a hearing to see if the suspension would be upheld.

At the time of his arrest, Kirk was residing in Walton, a community in Roane County.

The plea hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 12, Clemons said.

Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

— Contact Samantha Perry at sperry@bdtonline.com.

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