Official: ‘Actions’ will be taken after teacher arrest

MARLINTON – The Pocahontas County Superintendent of Schools said “appropriate actions will be taken” regarding the arrest of a Pocahontas County High School teacher on sexual assault charges this week.

Sammantha Bartley, 25, of Marlinton, was arrested Tuesday on three counts of sexual assault by a guardian, a felony. Bartley was arraigned in Pocahontas County Magistrate Court and is free on a $15,000 cash, property or surety bond.

“These are serious allegations,” Pocahontas Superintendent Donald Bechtel told The Inter-Mountain Thursday. “Appropriate actions will be taken in the matter.”

Bechtel declined to say whether Bartley was still employed at PCHS, saying he was unable to comment on personnel matters at this time.

“I will be offering my official personnel recommendation at the next Board of Education meeting on April 22,” Bechtel said.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged victim reported the incident to State Police officials on April 2, advising “he had had sexual intercourse with (Bartley) at Pocahontas County High School on three separate occasions between April 1, 2013 and June 30, 2013.” The alleged victim was 17 years old when the incidents occurred, and Bartley was his teacher at the time, the complaint states.

The alleged victim also said “he continued having sexual intercourse with (Bartley) on numerous occasions at her residence while still in school and after graduating from high school” until December, according to the criminal complaint.

Police conducted an interview with Bartley in reference to the allegations on April 3, when she “confessed to having sexual intercourse with the victim, but denied any sexual intercourse occurring at the high school and while the victim was below the age of 18,” the compliant reads. Bartley stated that she and the alleged victim “kissed while at school, and held each other but that was it,” according to the criminal complaint.

Cpl. M.A. Agee, of the Marlinton detachment of the State Police, was the arresting officer and is still investigating the matter, police said.

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