By Jim Melwert
WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — A 30-year-old former chemistry teacher at Downingtown West High School is facing serious charges, for allegedly trading illicit text messages and photos with a student.
Investigators say the text messages started when the victim was a junior, 16-years-old. They allege teacher Brandon Mitchell sent texts to the student saying he wanted to watch him, asking the student to send pictures, and also sending the student 20 nude photos of himself.
Police got a search warrant for Mitchell’s phone records and say they found more than 12,000 text messages between Mitchell and the student, from May 2013, to December, 2014.
Charles Gaza with the Chester County District Attorney’s office says Mitchell is facing serious charges including Child Pornography, Unlawful Contact with a Minor, and Endangering Welfare of Children:
“That’s something that we prosecute very vigorously and we ask that parents be very vigilante about. Pay attention to what their children are doing when they’re on their phones and on their computers.”
Gaza says they’re investigating the possibility of other victims. Mitchell taught at Downingtown West from 2010 until he was suspended in April, 2015 when this investigation started. He has since resigned.