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Teacher pleads guilty to sexual misconduct with student

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

(Photo)
Andrew Delles
A junior high schoolteacher who was facing more than 100 years in prison on charges he sent a 14-year-old student explicit photos of himself last year may be sentenced to probation next month as part of a deal for his guilty plea Monday.

Still, Andrew J. Delles, 29, of Jackson likely will see his name erased from the list of those allowed to teach in Missouri, and instead be placed on another list that will publicly label him a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Delles pleaded guilty to one count of sexual misconduct involving a minor to Judge Benjamin Lewis, who set a sentencing hearing for March 11. That's five fewer than he originally faced in March, but Scott County prosecutors dismissed those in exchange for his plea in a case heard in Cape Girardeau County on a change of venue.

Delles was placed on paid leave from his job at the Sikeston (Mo.) Junior High School in March after allegations surfaced of "inappropriate electronic communications" between Delles and a female student. Delles had taught communication arts for the Sikeston School District for five years when district officials reported their suspicions to police.

Delles' original six charges -- three alleging child enticement and three for misconduct involving a minor -- carried a maximum punishment of 102 years in prison. Next month, Lewis, if he doesn't reject the plea deal outright, could sentence Delles to a maximum of four years.

Prosecutors aren't asking for that much prison time. Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Boyd's office is recommending Lewis suspend the execution of a four-year prison sentence in favor of five years of probation, according to Delles' lawyer, Curt Poore.

Poore said his client had no comment after what was supposed to be a pretrial conference with the jury trial just 15 days away.

"There weren't any allegations of touching or anything like that, just inappropriate emails," Poore said.

Police found two pictures of an adult male on the student's phone that they determined to be of Delles, according to court documents. Photos apparently also had been exchanged between the two, the documents said, although Delles told police at the time the student must have gotten the pictures of him from an adult website on which he had posted them.

Former Sikeston School District superintendent Steve Borgsmiller placed Delles on paid leave when the charges were filed pending the outcome of court proceedings. On Monday, Borgsmiller's replacement, Tom Williams, was not available to discuss the case or Delles' future as an educator.

Delles did not return phone calls left at his home, which also was true of calls left at prosecutor Paul Boyd's office.

The guilty plea looks to have put an end to Delles' teaching career. This sort of sentence, unlike some that accompany probation, would put the incident on Delles' permanent criminal record.

Under Missouri law, convictions for sexual offenses, including sexual misconduct involving a minor, set the wheels in motion for his teaching license to be revoked, said Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spokeswoman Sarah Potter.

The department runs periodic checks through the Missouri State Highway Patrol to spot new criminal charges filed against Missouri educators, Potter said. The department, in fact, is about to step up its efforts, she said, running such checks more frequently.

At present, Potter said, Delles certificate remains valid, though he is no longer listed as a teacher with the Sikeston district.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol, which maintains the state's sex offender registry, said that because Delles' actions involved a minor, he will be required to register on the list for the rest of his life.

smoyers@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

100 Court St., Jackson, Mo.

Sikeston, Mo.


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Boy if I ever get arrested for anything I want Judge Lewis. Makes me want to commit a crime just knowing if I get him I walk off free.

-- Posted by nocomment on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 5:33 PM

Paid administrative leave ? for how long...how much did it cost the school system/teachers fund?

-- Posted by GoneHunt'nAgain on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 7:11 PM

what is it with all of these people getting probation, he should of gotten the rope.

-- Posted by bagman75 on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 9:25 PM

DFS has a big part in letting crimes like this slip by. In Cape Girardeau County, there is no real safety for children. It's a free for all. No matter what testimony a child has, the perp. gets off the hook as long as they say they didn't do it. I think they should change to sign that welcomes people to cape to say "Welcome to Cape. Feel free to molest our kids. We won't tell."

-- Posted by CNav on Tue, Feb 12, 2013, at 7:49 AM

As a former teacher, I say this man should be locked up for awhile. The proposed penalty is far too light. He puts kids in danger, and our kids are our most important asset.

-- Posted by Raunchy on Tue, Feb 12, 2013, at 8:28 AM

If I were a resident of Scott County, I would have a real problem with the fact that the Prosecuting Attorney cut a deal with the defendant that involved no prison time.

-- Posted by Lippy Radeck on Tue, Feb 12, 2013, at 9:27 AM

4 years? And his sorry attorney stating "just inappropriate emails" Seems that in Missouri, child enticement isn't any big deal, especially when prosecutors agree to a maximum of 4 years. The key word is "maximum" here. Depending on the judge, he could get less. When he is out, what will this sorry individual do next? Sooner or later it could very well be rape or murder of a child by this guy. The judge and prosecutor should then be held responsible and serve the same sentence this creep would get.

-- Posted by momspoppies on Tue, Feb 12, 2013, at 9:27 AM

Sex offenses get some of the shortest time given from what I've seen ,I guess the prisons are so full of drug offenders and drunk drivers .

-- Posted by rockman54 on Mon, Feb 18, 2013, at 3:20 PM


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