Prosecutor: School delayed informing police about alleged sexual misconduct with a minor
ANDERSON, Ind.– A former teacher at Indiana Christian Academy is facing a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor.
Investigators say Stephen Lingle, 28, acted inappropriately with a girl half his age.
“There were unwanted advances, letters talking about how attractive and beautiful she was. There is an allegation that she was touched inappropriately,” said Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings.
According to court documents, he admitted to writing those letters. Even told police, his wife was not paying attention to him at home and just wanted a close friend.
Lingle isn’t the only one charged in the case. According to court documents, the student told a teacher about the alleged touching and letters on May 17. Police say school administrator Kevin Plew waited four days to report it.
“A young girl makes a report, that I’m sure is traumatizing to her and in four days no one does anything. I cannot imagine how that made her feel,” said Cummings. “She was back in the classroom and the teacher was still there. No one had done anything.”
Prosecutor Cummings says Plew broke the law. He faces one count of failure to report child abuse.
“There is a new law that teachers cannot just report it to their supervisor, they have to make the call to the police themselves. The staff member has to do it immediately. Immediately would be by the end of the class period,” said Cummings.
Indiana Christian Academy released a statement about the case:
“ICA has fully cooperated with authorities in the investigation of this matter, and will remain committed to doing so. At this time, our focus is on attending to the needs of the student and family involved.”
We reached out to the administrator and have not yet heard back.
If Lingle is convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor charge, he could face up to six years behind bars. If Plew is convicted, he could face up to 180 days.