UPDATE: Former teacher sentenced for sexually exploiting student

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UPDATE 11/25/15 @ 2:35 p.m.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A former high school teacher in Johnson County, who admitted to sexually exploiting a minor student, has been sentenced to prison.

The US Attorney's Office says Robert Cantrell, 26, of Versailles, has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for illegally enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity. He must serve 85% of that sentence, which is nearly 12 years.

Cantrell was also ordered to serve 15 years of supervised release following his sentence.

Earlier this year, Cantrell admitted that in 2014, he enticed a minor student to text him sexually images of the student engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Cantrell also admitted he induced the minor student to engage in sexual acts with him.



UPDATE 10/20/14 @ 10 p.m.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A former high school teacher was arrested Monday, accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.

School officials say 25-year-old Robert Cantrell was fired before this school year began. Deputies say the investigation began in June.

School employees said Cantrell graduated from Johnson Central High School in 2007 and returned to teach at his alma mater, but his professional stint there did not last long.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Department said it received a complaint in June that Cantrell had pursued an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Investigators said they found incriminating conversations he'd had with the victim on social media.

Cantrell is now charged with two counts of use of a minor in a sexual performance and first degree unlawful transaction with a minor.

Deputies said he’s also facing possible charges in Floyd County, where he lives, related to this investigation.

Parent Ivalean Hager said what's surprising is that anybody would think they could get away with something like this.

"They all know kids are going to talk,” she said, “whether it be amongst themselves, then one parent finds out, it's going to come out."

The Johnson Central volleyball coach said Cantrell graduated with her son in 2007. She said she was stunned when she learned of the allegations, never imagining he could be involved in this kind of crime.

The current principal at Johnson Central, Russell Halsey, said he just started there this school year, and Cantrell was dismissed before Halsey took the job.

An official with the Board of Education said they can’t comment, as it's an ongoing investigation.



ORIGINAL STORY 10/20/14 @ 2:05 p.m.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A former Johnson Central High School teacher has been indicted for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a student.

Robert L. Cantrell, 25, of Prestonsburg, was arrested Monday.

He was indicted last week on two counts of use of a minor in a sexual performance and one count of unlawful transaction with a minor.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office says Cantrell was suspended from his position when the allegations were made. He was later dismissed from his position.

Cantrell is also facing possible charges in Floyd County in connection with the case.

According to the Sheriff's Office, "The criminal investigation revealed that Johnson County Schools had absolutely no indication of any questionable actions by Cantrell prior to the investigation. Deputy Tim Clark stated he has full confidence in the Johnson County School system. If they (the school officials) ever find anything questionable or illegal, he has no doubt they will follow protocol and report to the proper authorities immediately."

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