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Teacher Accused of Sex Assault Barred From School

Centennial Jr. High School
Trevor T. Trujillo, Townsquare Media

A Casper Junior High teacher accused of having sexual relationship with a minor is barred from school district property.

Centennial Jr. High School teacher Tyler Russell was arrested Friday, accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl twice during the last month.

Natrona County School District Superintendent Steve Hopkins would not release many details about the situation but said that Russell is out of contact with students and is not allowed on school property.

“He’s no longer in contact with students.  He’s not permitted on school district property,” says Superintendent Hopkins.  “Wyoming teacher employment law lines out the process that we need to follow in situations like that.  The process has begun, and we will work with our attorney to follow that process just as quickly as we possibly can.”

Police began an investigation of Russell after concern was raised by the victim’s mother, who said she believed that Russell and the girl had a sexual relationship. Police affidavits say that the mother had observed explicit conversation and numerous nude photos that had been exchanged over online social networking.

Police say during an interview with Russell, he admitted having sexual relations with the victim.

“We do the very best that we can to review the candidates that apply for our jobs,” says Superintendent Hopkins.  “We look into their background, we check their references.  They’re trained.  All of our staff are trained, vigilantly, every year, on what we call ‘compliance training.’  Those items that they need to be aware of, that they need to do to demonstrate professionalism in the work they do for the school district.  It’s important to us.  This is going to be one of those situations where we review actions within the school district to ensure that we’re keeping students safe.”

Russell is free on bond, awaiting his preliminary court hearing.

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