A 49-year-old high school teacher in Kentucky is facing a spate of felonies for allegedly enticing a 9-year-old boy to send him photographs of his genitals while sending the child pornography in return.
Kevin Daniel Lentz was taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with 10 counts of distribution of obscene matter to a minor, seven counts of use of a minor under age 16 in a sexual performance, and six counts of tampering with physical evidence, records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
Lentz was an English teacher at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky, since 2005, but administrators placed him on leave following his arrest earlier this week.
“We have been made aware of the arrest of Mr. Kevin Lentz,” Fayette County Public Schools said in a statement sent to Lexington NBC affiliate WLEX-TV. “The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. FCPS will fully cooperate with all authorities during their investigation. We remain committed to maintaining a secure and supportive learning environment for all our students.”
The school also said that Lentz’s administrative leave is dependent upon the outcome of the investigation.
According to a report from the Lexington Herald-Leader, investigators with the Lexington Police Department said Lentz told the victim to delete their unlawful sexual conversations, telling the boy to do it “so his parents wouldn’t know” about their ongoing relationship. When Lentz allegedly exchanged messages with the victim, the former teacher reportedly sent at least 10 pornographic images to the boy.
Lentz allegedly began messaging with the victim in July, the Herald-Leader reported.
Following his arrest, Lentz appeared before Fayette District Court Judge Lindsay Thurston, who ordered him to be detained in lieu of $50,000 bond, the Herald-Leader reported. Jail records show Lentz was still incarcerated at the Fayette Detention Center on Thursday afternoon. Should he post bond and be released, Judge Thurston prohibited Lentz from having contact with minors.
Lentz made his first appearance on Wednesday in Fayette County District Court. He appeared via video conference before Judge Melissa Murphy, where he reportedly pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In addition to teaching, Lentz also volunteered in the youth program at Faith Lutheran Church in Lexington, the Lexington Times reported. Pastor Dana Lockhart reportedly told the newspaper Lentz had been removed from his role with the program following his arrest due to the church’s child protection policies.
Detectives with the LPD Special Victims Section are in charge of the ongoing investigations into the charges against Lentz. Fayette County Public Schools and LPD did not immediately respond to messages from Law&Crime.
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