A Culpeper County High School math teacher and soccer coach was charged Wednesday with using a communications system to solicit a minor, a Culpeper student.
Bristow resident Stephen Kirsch, 31, a math teacher at Culpeper High for the past six years, was arrested Wednesday and charged with using a communications system to solicit a minor, a current Culpeper student who was one of his former students, the county Sheriff’s Office reported via its Facebook page.
Kirsch initiated an inappropriate conversation with the former student through a popular social-media application early Monday morning, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Kirsch “suggested the exchange of ‘sexy’ pictures between the two and made several sexually suggestive and inappropriate comments, to include his intent of masturbation,” the law-enforcement agency said.
The student then emailed Culpeper High administrators to report Kirsch’s contact and request for sexual pictures and his sexual remarks, the Sheriff’s Office said. The School administration immediately contacted the child’s parents and the Sheriff’s Office, it said.
“We’re very thankful that the victim quickly contacted school authorities to report the incident. Once again, the school officials have worked well to assist our detectives through this investigation,” Sheriff Scott Jenkins said on Facebook. “There may have been other similar incidents involving this suspect and we hope that those persons will feel comfortable coming forward to be heard. Thank you again to the victim for your courage and to our school administrators for your continued good work.”
Kirsch was charged with violating state law 18.2-374.3—using a communications system for the purposes of soliciting, with lascivious intent, a person less than 18 years of age, the Sheriff’s Office said.
He was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond, the agency said.
Unrelated to the incident, Kirsch has resigned his position with Culpeper County Public Schools, the office of the school division’s superintendent said late Wednesday afternoon in a statement.
“CCPS is grateful the student quickly contacted school administration to report the incident,” Dr. Tony Brad’s office said. “Having trust in school leaders to report concerning communications from a teacher requires courage and is the proper student response. Additionally, CCPS is grateful for the continued cooperation and collaboration with the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office. This is another example of working together both quickly and effectively on behalf of our students and our community.”
Culpeper High Principal Daniel Soderholm declined to comment, referring the Star-Exponent to the Sheriff’s Office.