Former Boyle teacher indicted

June 03, 2004|TODD KLEFFMAN

A former Boyle County Middle School teacher accused of videotaping students as they undressed is in custody today in Western Kentucky after being indicted Wednesday by a Boyle County grand jury.

Mark Starr was charged with use of a minor under 16 in a sexual performance and tampering with physical evidence, both felonies. He is being held in the Graves County Detention Center under a $25,000 bond, said Trooper Chris Lanham of the Kentucky State Police.

Starr, who taught at the school for four years before being fired in March, turned himself in Wednesday at the KSP post in Mayfield, Lanham said.

"He was in Tennessee when he talked with his attorney and made arrangements to return to Kentucky and turn himself in in Graves County," Lanham said.


Starr's attorney, Richard Clay of Danville, could not be reached for comment this morning. His wife, Tricia Starr, declined to comment today when reached by telephone.

Mark Starr, who taught technology and career explorations, was put on administrative leave in January after allegations surfaced that he used equipment in an audio-visual room to secretly tape students in a photography class who were sent there to change into costumes.

Starr was fired in March after the school system conducted an independent internal investigation into the allegations.

Commonwealth's Detective Cindy Corcoran declined to elaborate on the charges today, saying only that there were "elements to fit the crime" of using a minor in a sexual performance and that "he attempted to destroy evidence that could be used against him."

Using a minor under 16 in a sexual performance is a Class B felony, and a conviction carries punishment of 10 to 20 years in prison. Tampering with physical evidence is a Class D felony and carries punishment of one to five years in prison.

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