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Indiana teacher faces inappropriate texting count

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 7:44 am

MISHAWAKA — A northern Indiana teacher faces a criminal count for allegedly sending sexually charged text messages to a former student who now is 12.

St. Joseph County prosecutors said Monday that 30-year-old Eric West faces a misdemeanor count of inappropriate communication with a child. They say he was the girl's fifth-grade teacher at Walt Disney Elementary School in Mishawaka. She's now a seventh-grader.

The mother of the girl told investigators she found more than 250 text messages from West's cellphone. Police arrested him last week.

A message seeking comment from West was left at a residential telephone listing for a man with that name in the Mishawaka area.

A spokeswoman for Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp. tells the South Bend Tribune and WSBT-TV that West has been placed on paid administrative leave.