UPDATE (8/17/17 at 12:15 p.m.):
A Randolph County teacher was arrested last week for allegedly sending inappropriate photographs to students on Snapchat.
Albert Chewning, 37, attempted to initiate relationships with at least four students using the Snapchat app, according to the Elkins Police Department.
Police said Chewning sent explicit photographs from a Snapchat account to four female students who were 17 or 18 years old at the time.
Chewning also allegedly attempted to kiss a 17-year-old student while they were in a tool closet, police said. The girl told police that Chewning required her to take a final exam on June 2, and when she arrived for it, she was told it would be given in three parts. The first part was that she showed up, and the second part was that she would remove her underwear in the bathroom and bring them to Chewning, according to court documents. When the girl wouldn’t complete part two, she did not find out what part three was, police said. Chewning then asked the girl to to help put away tools in the closet, where he tried to kiss her, police said. The girl refused and left the classroom, according to police.
The administrator of the Randolph County Technical Center told police that the girl received a “100” on her final exam but that he could not find a physical copy of the exam. The administrator also noted that the girl should not have been required to take a final exam because of good attendance, according to court documents.
Another 17-year-old student told police that Chewning sent her an explicit picture on Snapchat, and that he attempted to touch her inappropriately three to four times.
Chewning also reportedly had an intimate relationship with another student, who is now 19 years old. This woman told other students that she and Chewning had an intimate relationship outside of school and that he bought a flip phone to talk to her.
The administrator of the school told police that when the woman was still in school there, he found her and Chewning talking in the shop during lunchtime. He said he did not witness any physical contact, but he believed the incident was inappropriate and warned Chewning not to have any students in his classroom or shop during lunchtime.
Snapchat evidence reportedly shows that the woman and Chewning had met at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown in March 2017, where a workshop was taking place that Chewning attended, police said. The administrator said Chewning took professional leave to attend the workshop, but he said it was not funded by the school.
When police talked with the woman, she said she and Chewning had no relationship other than that of a typical student and her teacher while she was a student or afterward. Snapchat messages from Chewning to the woman include things such as, “I truly believe in my heart we can make it. I love you,” and “I can’t keep letting you slip through my fingers. It seems like every day that passes that I don’t take what I want I’m loosing [sic] you and I don’t want that. I find myself giving in because I feel guilty for being selfish and I don’t want my kids to suffer.”
An additional 18-year-old student told police that she received an explicit photograph from Chewning’s Snapchat account.
Chewning is charged with one count of soliciting a minor via computer and two counts of distribution and display of obscene matter to a minor. He is currently in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
A teacher at the Randolph County Technical Center has been arrested and charged with soliciting a minor.
Albert Chewning is charged with soliciting a minor via computer and two counts of displaying obscene matter to a minor, according to the Elkins Police Department.
Stay with 12 News for updates on this developing story.