Former teacher’s sex charge plea rejected by judge

PRINCETON, W.Va. — A former Mercer County teacher faces an April trial on sex charges committed against students after a judge rejected his guilty plea Friday.

Jonathan Kirk, a former teacher and coach at Pikeview High School, was set to be sentenced Friday by Judge William Sadler. Kirk pleaded guilty last November to one count of sexual abuse and six counts of displaying obscene material to minors.

Jonathan Kirk

Judge Sadler rejected the plea and set the case for an April 15 trial. The judge said the plea bargain with prosecutors did not take into account Kirk’s role as a teacher, a position of trust. Most of the crimes allegedly took place on school grounds with teenage girls.

Kirk faced up to 20 years in prison in the plea bargain but now the case goes back to the original 18 felony charges. If convicted, Kirk could be sentenced to up to 100 years in prison.

The original charges include using minors in filming sexually explicit conduct; showing them obscene materials; sexual abuse; and soliciting a minor by computer.

Kirk remains in the Southern Regional Jail on $100,000 bail.


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