A high school gym teacher accused of sending nude photos of herself to a 14-year-old freshman at her school has admitted to having sex with the boy, police said Monday.
Beth Ann Chester, a 26-year-old health and physical education teacher at Moon Area High School in suburban Pittsburgh, was jailed on charges of sexual abuse of children, corruption of minors and related counts for sending the teen nude pictures and salacious text messages, authorities said.
Moon Township Police Chief Leo McCarthy said Monday that authorities planned to file other charges, including felony statutory sexual assault, after Chester confessed to having sex with the boy after a school event.
“She confessed to having full sexual intercourse with this child in her vehicle in the school parking lot,” McCarthy said.
The boy told police he fell in love with the married teacher during a three-month relationship, according to court papers. He denied having physical contact with Chester, except for a hug the last day of school before winter break, police said.
McCarthy said he couldn’t explain why the boy denied having sex with the teacher.
“She admitted to us quite graphically what happened,” McCarthy said. “Perhaps he wanted to protect her. We’re dealing with a 14-year-old. This is typical of someone who’s a victim. He’s in love with this person and she’s in jail now and losing her job.”
The boy told police that he and Chester began exchanging text messages in late October, and that they devised a system to spend extra time with one another at school, police said. In one message, police said, Chester called the boy “sexy” and made a graphic reference to his body.
The boy’s parents had discovered suggestive text messages and met with Chester on Dec. 26, police said. The boy’s parents told the teacher they would not seek criminal charges if she resigned, police said.
Chester tendered her resignation the next day, citing “personal reasons.”
Chester remained in the Allegheny County jail unable to post $50,000 bond on Monday.
The staff of Coraopolis District Judge Mary Murray said they had no record of an attorney for Chester. Nobody answered the door at her apartment, and her husband, a coach at Penn State University’s McKeesport campus, did not immediately return a phone call or an e-mail.
The Moon Area School Board must vote on whether to accept Chester’s resignation. Until then, she remains on the district payroll. She had worked for the district for more than two years, school officials said.
School district attorney Jack Cambest and police could not say whether the boy was in Chester’s class.