• Last modified 423 days ago (March 22, 2018)


Seized phones contain nudity

Partially nude pictures found on teacher’s and students’ phones

Staff writer

Cell phones seized Jan. 31 and Feb. 2 from two students and from Peabody-Burns social studies teacher Chris Young contained videos and partially nude photos of all three, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Feb. 23 and released Friday by district court.

The affidavit also states that Young allegedly gave one of the students a promise ring as a Christmas gift.

A request for disclosure of the probable cause affidavit was filed March 6 by Ashley Rohleder, with the Kansas Association of School Boards. The following day, Young’s attorney, John Rapp, filed an objection to disclosure of the affidavit.

District Judge Michael Powers ruled Friday the affidavit should be released with names of alleged victims and witnesses redacted.

The sworn document itemizes information and evidence investigators gathered before Young’s arrest on charges of having unlawful sexual relations with two students and sexual exploitation of a child.

It details how police were tipped off to the situation on Jan. 2, what was learned during the two-month investigation, and what evidence was seized during searches.

The affidavit states Peabody-Burns Junior-Senior High School administrators were involved in the investigation and had observed numerous unacceptable behaviors on Young’s part. Through observation and review of security videos, school officials determined Young and one of the alleged victims were in his classroom with the door locked before the start of school on multiple occasions; Young was outside his classroom while class was going on; Young entered a hallway alcove during school hours; and one of the alleged victims repeatedly went to Young’s classroom when she should have been elsewhere.

According to the affidavit, several people spoke to police about alleged incidents involving Young and two students, which police learned dated back to December and occurred at multiple locations including a rural residence and a Peabody residence.

Young, 45, is charged with eight felony counts.

When he surrendered to authorities March 5 at Marion County Courthouse, he was greeted by 40 supporters, ranging from high school students to retirees.

Most walked over to hug him and patted him on the back. Young hugged people and thanked them for being there, and occasionally dabbed his cheek with a tissue.

Bond had been set at $150,000 when an arrest warrant was issued for him several days earlier and he, in the words of county attorney Courtney Boehm, “disappeared in the middle of the night.”

Boehm said she also was concerned that Young had contacted one of the victims while police were searching for him.

At the request of Young’s attorney, however, bond was lowered to a $50,000 surety bond, with an additional $100,000 personal recognizance penalty should he not show up in court.

Preliminary hearing is set for April 16.

Last modified March 22, 2018