KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — An Andrew Jackson Middle School teacher who is a former Miss Kentucky has been arrested after she was accused of sending nude photos to a former middle school student.
Ramsey BethAnn Bearse, 28, is charged with four felony counts of sending obscene material to a minor.
The school's website lists her as an eighth-grade science teacher at the Cross Lanes middle school.
Bearse was arraigned in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. When asked by reporters for comment, the teacher responded, "I have no comment to make to you all at this time."
A criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court said on Wednesday a deputy received a report about an adult sending inappropriate pictures to a minor. The deputy spoke to a parent, who said her 15-year-old son had inappropriate pictures on his phone that were sent to him by the teacher.
The parent said Bearse was a teacher at Andrew Jackson Middle School and that her son attended the school from sixth through eighth grades. Bearse was a teacher during some of the time the boy attended the school, the complaint said.
On Thursday, the deputy met with Bearse, who admitted to sending the 15-year-old at least four photographs of her nude breast/chest area on Snapchat, a social media network, from around August to the end of October, the complaint said. Both the teacher and the teen live in Kanawha County.
Officials said they can't specify if more underage victims are involved, but they are urging anyone else with additional information to come forward.
Kanawha County Schools released a statement saying, "We cannot comment on personnel matters, but we will follow all applicable policies and procedures. The safety and security of our students is our top priority."
Photos that accompany this story, provided courtesy of The News-Enterprise of Elizabethtown, Ky., show Bearse, then Miss Kentucky, talking to students at an elementary school in western Kentucky in 2015. Bearse, then known by her maiden name, Ramsey Carpenter, is also shown in a photo playing the fiddle.
A magistrate set Bearse's bond at $10,000 property or 10 percent cash. Her attorney said she would post bond. The magistrate said if she is convicted of the charges, she faces 20 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.