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Former Barat Academy Teacher Accused of Emailing Topless Pictures to Student

9:11 PM, Feb 28, 2008   |    comments
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By Sharon Stevens Education Reporter (KSDK) - Barat school officials have dismissed a teacher accused of emailing topless photos of herself to a high school freshman. Melissa Moss, 27, was fired from Barat Academy in Dardenne Prairie last year, 14 weeks after the independent Catholic high school opened last September. Prosecutors filed charges against Moss just a few days ago. On Thursday night, Moss's attorney Michael Kielty told Newschannel Five's Mike Bush that he doesn't believe his client committed a crime. "The portrayal of a woman's bare breasts in and of themselves as being pornographic seems to be a bit strong.", said Kielty. He added, "We don't know the context and I haven't seen the evidence but what I am saying is that bare breasts in and of themselves are not pornography." When Mike asked, "What kind of context would be ok for a teacher to send topless photos to her student?", Kielty responded, "Well, again Mike we're talking about an allegation here. I haven't received discovery. If this case were tried today, I'd plead not guilty because allegations are not evidence." School officials said parents who checked their 15-year old son's email brought the photographs to their attention. St. Charles County Prosecutor Jack Banas said Moss is charged with a misdemeanor, furnishing pornographic material to a minor. He called the situation "unusual." "The allegation is that she essentially sent photographs of herself in an undressed manor in questions through the internet," Banas said. The pictures were posted on Facebook and were taken off-campus. Barat officals say no school computers were used. Educators said when Moss was hired, her police background check came back negative. "She’s a graduate of Lindenwood University and her letters of recommendation were of highest regard," said Debby Watson, the President of Barat Academy. The 15-year-old is still a student at Barat. Officials said he is receiving help. NewsChannel 5 called Moss at home, but she never returned our calls. Moss’ attorney said she has no comment at this time.

KSDK

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