A Licking High School teacher is accused of showing a student a pornographic photo on a cell phone.
Jeremy L. Compton, 37, of Licking is charged with furnishing pornographic materials to a minor and tampering with physical evidence, according to a press release from the Licking Police Department.
Compton, who had a warrant for his arrest, surrendered last Thursday morning at the Texas County Jail. Compton immediately posted bond and was not incarcerated, according to Pam Tripp, jail administrator.
Both charges are misdemeanors.
Compton has been placed on administrative leave, according to a probable cause statement. He is also a coach at Licking High School
Licking police said the Missouri Department of Social Services received a report Nov. 17 of Compton showing the cell phone image to a student. A joint investigation was initiated.
Compton told Licking police he did not own the phone, according to the probable cause statement. He said he found it following a class and had taken it out of his pocket to attempt to discover the owner. Compton said the student, a 17-year-old female, grabbed the phone from his hands and looked through it. Compton told the girl he owned the phone to “get her to shut up,” officer Joshua Green said.
The female student told authorities Compton, who was seated at the score table, removed the phone from his pocket and said, “Look at this.” The student said there were three pornographic photos, including male genitalia and what appeared to be female porn stars, according to the probable cause statement.
The student said she told a friend about the incident and later spoke with a teacher.
During the investigation, Compton told authorities he panicked and threw the cell phone out of a car window on U.S. 63 north of Licking.
This story was updated with additional information at 10:33 a.m. Monday, Dec. 5.