Former teacher admits sending 'explicit' photos to student

29-year-old was social studies teacher, girls' soccer coach at Elkhorn Middle

By Kristina Belcher, Published:

A former Elkhorn Middle School teacher is now a convicted felon after she sent what prosecutors call “highly explicit” photos of herself to one of her students.

Andrea Opell, 29, waived a grand jury indictment and pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.

According to her plea agreement, between January 2013 and May 2014 Opell “sent flirtatious text messages and explicit photos of herself to a minor student at Elkhorn Middle School.”

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Zach Becker confirmed that the minor was a boy Opell taught, but wouldn’t elaborate on the types of photos that were sent.

“Very inappropriate, obviously, for a teacher to be sending to her students,” Becker said.

At least one photo was then circulated to other students in the school, Becker said.

When the incident was brought to the attention of the school’s principal and the superintendent, Becker said the school’s resource deputy, Montey Chappell, began investigating.

According to files obtained from Franklin County Public Schools, Opell was suspended with pay May 1 from her position as a social studies teacher and girls’ soccer coach at EMS, pending that investigation.

She later resigned.

As a part of the plea agreement, Opell will surrender her teaching certification.

She will be sentenced in Franklin Circuit Court August 15.

The plea agreement states that prosecutors have agreed to recommend supervised pretrial diversion, meaning Opell would essentially be on probation, but could have the felony charge expunged after completing her sentence.

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  • PFP...you need to go back to school and learn to read and learn how to comprehend a statement. You are one sick individual.

  • Sooooo, when you say it happened to "one of your grandchildren" it is like you're really saying that it "happened to a friend of mine" which is exactly like saying that it happened to YOU!  And that person you are describing as an old man  "creep" wasn't a teacher but in fact was really your priest who abused you for 13 years and you liked it but are now so fraught with guilt that you take it out on defenseless women like ukfan.  No wonder you're so danged mean...

    WTF are you babbling on here about? Do you even read anything??  And ukfan just agreed with you and you insulted her not me.. GAWDDD what a moron.

    Thank you Bruno...at least some men on here have some respect for others.

    You just thanked a men/woman/it for insulting you and poking fun... Oh this is rich....

    PFP...you are an a$$ !! They didn't catch the "CREEP" that did it. So you need to STFU about stuff you don't know about

    I know when people make stuff up, they get defensive about the lie they tell... Your messiah should be your frist clue to that. Perhaps the creep is BurnoUno and he's been be friending you all this time... 

     It wouldn't matter what sex they were...wrong is wrong.

    But but you said the punsihment was apporiate for the teacher. Seems you are with holding true feelings in order to be politically correct...It's gotta suc bveing part of the establishment known as Democratic Liberalism keeping your true nature and feelings all bottled up and nowhere to release them without being pointed at a riusk being kicked out of the club...

  • Bruno...Well you got me there...they say to never assume anything and I guess they are right.....but thanks anyways.

  • What makes you think that I am a man?

  • Thank you Bruno...at least some men on here have some respect for others.

  • pitch: "PFP did you not read what I posted? It happened to one of my grandchildren so he!! yes I get defensive........" 

    Sooooo, when you say it happened to "one of your grandchildren" it is like you're really saying that it "happened to a friend of mine" which is exactly like saying that it happened to YOU!  And that person you are describing as an old man  "creep" wasn't a teacher but in fact was really your priest who abused you for 13 years and you liked it but are now so fraught with guilt that you take it out on defenseless women like ukfan.  No wonder you're so danged mean...

  • PFP...you are an a$$ !! They didn't catch the "CREEP" that did it. So you need to STFU about stuff you don't know about. I wouldn't wish that on ANYONE !  It wouldn't matter what sex they were...wrong is wrong.

  • She will be sentenced August 15...anybody read that?  That means that she could be facing a felony.  Nothing physical happened, just flirting and fantasies.  Lots and lots of fantasies...

     

    capitalcitizen, June 26, 2014 8:42AM

    "I think we're missing the point here, and men never seem to get that point (Yes, I am pointing fingers at you guys!):

    A teacher is a person with authority over a young person.  If it were your child, how would you feel?  These are middle school age children, impressionable.  This is not about consenting adults or even consenting teenagers.  It was a transaction between an adult in a position of authority and a child." 

    I think you all are missing the point here...there is a BIG freakin' difference in a male authority figure pursuing a teenage girl and a hot female authority figure pursuing a teen age boy.  The difference is as plain as the difference between men and women when it comes to sexual attraction...the male is hardwired to be the traditonal aggressor and the female the permission giver.  Thus, it is hard for me to see this kid as the victim that you guys are trying to paint him as in this case.  

    Basically, it is all about "want to"...the teen age boy wanted to get close to the slightly older and vastly more experienced hot young woman.  The teacher did not coerce this kid...shucks, she didn't have to. She had to hold him back although obviously she was getting gratification from teasing him and the attention.  

    The mature man in authority pursuing a teenage girl is much more likely to have to resort to coercion...more like in the case of a priest and alter boy situation.  Big difference!  Here you are most likely to be dealing with a reluctant and scared girl.  I know lots of teenage boys would have given their right testicle to have been getting this special attention with that young HOT woman.  That is just the way it is...and that is just the way it always will be...we are hardwired that way.

    Nobody is defending this teacher for showing extremely bad judgement in developing anything more than a strictly professional teacher/student relationship with a middle school student, which we can assume was a 14-15 year old boy.  Given while some boys of this age are quite (sexually) mature looking, they are all immature braggarts and blabbermouths who usually can't wait to tell their buds all about Miss Jean Hotpants showing them "special attention" to high fives all around!  Not that there aren't plenty of men who never seem to grow out of this emotionally immature stage regardless of their age!  Conquests have always been a big part of men's sexual behavior.  But the fact is that this teacher was stupid enough to send him physical evidence in the photos...the "e" in email stands for evidence.  Selfies have brought down a lot of famous politicians and spouses and the press has covered all of them ad nauseum.

    There was middle school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau who served two terms in prison for her sexual relationship with a student that started when he was 12. Letourneau continued contacting the boy and gave birth to a daughter by him during probation. Letourneau and her former student (now an adult) are married with two children.

    Such cases sometimes have other bizarre consequences. For example, a woman who contends she was raped by an underage male may find herself charged with statutory rape. And, underage male victims may also (although infrequently) face legal repercussions.

    A California court required a 15-year-old male victim of statutory rape by a 34-year-old woman to pay child support for an infant conceived during their sexual relationship. The underage male testified that he had discussed an on-going relationship with the woman and that the sex with her was “mutually agreeable.” 

    Romeo and Juliet laws, which have been enacted in several (though not all) states, provide a defense to a person charged with statutory rape who is less than a specified number of years older than the victim.

     

    Again, kuddos goes out to Deputy Montey Chappell for sniffing this woman out and cracking this case in short order...I guess that not all of his job is the sheer drudgery of dealing with insolent teenagers!  This one was probably kind of fun.

     

  • PFP did you not read what I posted? It happened to one of my grandchildren so he!! yes I get defensive........

    So, PFP, what do you think would be a more appropriate punishment? Would you have her incarcerated, or perhaps branded?

    So explain the differences in the punishment. That is if the person you are describing as old man  "creep" even got punished versus this young lady "creep" of a teacher? Or is it because it happened to your granddaughter that the punishment, if any, was more acceptable and apporiate versus this teacher that has no connection to your family.

    I would like to understand why you said the punishment appears to be adaquate for this teacher. Or could it be gender specific why you said that?

  • "You all defintely need a course in recognizing what is sexual abuse and what makes someone a predator/pedophile.

    capitalcitizen...This has happened in my family to my granddaughter so I don't need a lecture about understanding the impact cause my family has lived it !!

    I hope you included yourself in that comment because you are also on here posting your thoughts.

    "What if it were your child ukfan?" 

    PFP did you not read what I posted? It happened to one of my grandchildren so he!! yes I get defensive........

  • BTW, Bodeen - thanks for the back up on this.

    And.... shocker!  I agree with you regarding a lifetime registry.

  • steve_fry - to answer your question, I think she should be "branded," as in "sex offender registry," and that she should serve at least a year of prison time, or whatever the law allows for coercing a minor.  Whatever the sentence is for using the internet to lure minors into a sexual performance.

    She should have that hanging over her head for all eternity, to warn future predators and pedophiles, that they can't get away with molesting or attempting to molest children.

    You all commenting need to volunteer with organizations that serve child victims of sexual abuse and talk with adults who were sexually abused in their childhoods.  Once you understand the impact of this, perhpas your comments and perspectives will be different.

    You all definitely need a course in recognizing what is sexual abuse and what makes someone a predator/pedophile.

    Someone who is demented enough to put their teaching job on the line to have an illicit relationship with a student, is going to graduate into more deviant behavior.  That's a sick predator, male or female.

  • ukfan your agreement with the punishment and the amount of punishment gives one reason that you feel Ok with it, yet you get defensive when the question is posed to you. The phrasing of my question is to cover ALL possibilities raising from such an act. Are you to believe that it is just hetrosexuals that are capable of doing these kinds of ugly things?

     

     

  • PFP...never said it was right or okay for this woman to do what she did.

    What's with the choice question about "What if it was a female teacher sending explicit pics to your daughter or a male teacher sending explicit pics to your son?"

    Wrong is wrong no matter what the sex of the person. DUH !!

    And by the way ...my granddaughter (who was 8 yrs old) was "approached" once by an older man (CREEP)...... so don't even go there.

  • So, PFP, what do you think would be a more appropriate punishment? Would you have her incarcerated, or perhaps branded?

    She is no different than any other teacher who has done this kind of thing. Was the photo border line, over the top, so more skin than acceptable? Who knows the point is she is/was a teacher of teenage students and the punishment isn't so muich having her thrown in prison it's the fact that if she stays a good girl she can have it wiped off her record. Simple text explict messages would have gotten a male teacher time in prison and have to register as a sex offender. She doesn't even have to do that. Now that's one sided justice..But then again it might appear as a war on women if she got any punishment stronger than what she did.

    29 years old is not an excuse for what she did regardless of how stupid you think it is. She was mature enough to know that, or you would hope she was. 

    CC I don't agree with your assestment that if this were a male. This woman obviliously has some kind of problem that feels only a teenager can satisify and not someone her own age. She deserves no less branding than a male teacher and the brand is pedophile That should follow her the rest of her life. It's the same with any other person convicted of a felony.

    WHAT IF IT WERE YOUR CHILD ukfan.. and it was a male teacher sending explicit pics to your teenage daughter would you still feel it was the right decision? Here's another choice... What if it was a female teacher sending explicit pics to your daughter, or a male teacher sending explicit pics to your teenage son?

  • Guuuuulp! I wasn't going to touch this but felt like some of you all are missing the point. Capitalcitizen hold on to your drawers, I AGREE with you 100%! You are correct in if this had been a man then the punishment would had been severe and rightfully so. These teachers, male or female preying on very young and very impressionable children like this deserves incarceration for a period of time more than what this bogus probation deal is. How about registering as a predator also? Never should a crime like this be expunged. EVER! Steve wether you meant to or not, I took your comment as you support the punishment which I do not think is punishment at all. Losing her teaching certificate for a period of time isn't punishment enough if in fact punishment at all for the betrayal of public trust in a position where trust is of upmost importance. Enforcement of laws in Franklin County is joke. Priorities are backwards and common sense is lacking. From the get go with this, the authorities has been trying to sweep it under the rug and they finally thwarted the system and got this woman off without the same punishment that any male teacher would had gotten..

  • CC: "steve_fry:  why would you try to justify this kind of icky and inappropriate predatorial behavior?"

    I did no such thing. I commented on the severity of the punishment, nothing else. If you construe my comments differently then you're reading more into them than I intended.

     

  • Steve...I believe they have already branded her by making this public. Or at least I hope that it shamed her. But I too feel that they came to the right decision.

  • Good points, CC, and I'll offer the same question to you -- What do you think would be a more appropriate punishment? Would you have her incarcerated, or perhaps branded?

     

  • I think we're missing the point here, and men never seem to get that point (Yes, I am pointing fingers at you guys!):

    A teacher is a person with authority over a young person.  If it were your child, how would you feel?  These are middle school age children, impressionable.  This is not about consenting adults or even consenting teenagers.  It was a transaction between an adult in a position of authority and a child.

    If the teacher had been a male adult, sending inappropriate pictures of himself to a young teen girl, you all would have been wanting to burn him and would have called him a pervert.

    Why is it any different if it is a woman who is the sexual offender?

    steve_fry:  why would you try to justify this kind of icky and inappropriate predatorial behavior?

    This is inappropriate behavior for a 29 year old woman with a college education, who has been a teacher and a coach.

     

  • So, PFP, what do you think would be a more appropriate punishment? Would you have her incarcerated, or perhaps branded?

    To me, this crime ranks about a 3 on a 1-to-10 scale. By the time I was her age I'd done some really stupid things too, but I learned and moved on. I think the punishment fits the crime.

  • I just don't understand WHY.....And the punishment is nothing more than a smack on the hand with a ruler. She might surrender her certification here but after the completion of the diversion program and it gets expunged she can just simply pack up move and get another teaching job somewhere. They can't take away her degree. 

    Watch the union get her unemployment to see her through this terrible ordeal and re-adjustment...

  • Royd, I bet you could find it (the picture) on Topix. Now, I'm not suggesting you actually GO to that site -- It's pretty nasty from what I've heard. Not moderated at all.

  • She hasn't had her teaching degree all that long being 29 yrs of age. What a waste !

  • Well, can we at least see the picture?