Teacher, Accused of ‘Sexting’ Teen, Charged with 47 Counts
A Haines City high school teacher was arrested Thursday, accused of transmitting inappropriate materials of a sexual nature to a 16-year-old girl whom he taught last school year.
36-year-old Dale Pennington, a teacher at Ridge community High School in Haines City, admitted to ‘sexting’ the girl and described his communication with the teen as “soft porn.”
Pennington told investigators he ‘sexted’ the teen about 15 times since May 2012. The e-mails and text conversations have been ongoing for several months, he told deputies.
The teen was a World History student of Pennington’s last school year, but that’s no longer the case deputies said.
According to Pennington’s arrest affidavit, he sent a text message to the 16-year-old saying, “I am really a sick individual.” He also confessed to sending an adult pornographic video to the teen.
Investigators described the e-mails and texts sent to the 16-year-old as “extremely graphic.”
Pennington was booked into the Polk County Jail earlier today. He has been charged with 16 counts of transmission of material harmful to a minor, 15 counts of using a computer to seduce a child, 15 counts of unlawful use of a 2-way communication device and 1 count of traveling to meet a minor. He will have his first court appearance before a judge on Friday.