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Ex-teacher faces reindictment in Wise County on child porn charges

Mike Still • Jul 19, 2019 at 11:05 AM

WISE — A former Scott County high school teacher awaiting sentencing on child pornography and soliciting charges in Scott County, had charges withdrawn against him in Wise County Thursday.

Jeremy Dale Francis was scheduled to go to trial July 23 in Wise on one felony charge each of soliciting child pornography from a person under 18 and of possession of child pornography for a second or subsequent offense. 

Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp III said Thursday that he reviewed the case and decided that additional charges were warranted against Francis. Slemp said the charges were withdrawn to allow time to bring the new charges and refile the original charges to a grand jury.

Francis served as a science teacher at Rye Cove High School from August 2008 until January 2015, when he resigned. Francis previously pleaded guilty in Scott County on a pair of counts of proposing a sex act by computer to a minor. the victims were also former students. A delayed pre-sentencing report has pushed back his sentencing on the Scott charges, where he faces a minimum sentence of seven years.

In 2016, Francis pleaded guilty in Sullivan County to sexual exploitation of a minor for having nude pictures of students on his computer. Although sentenced to two years in prison, he was released after serving seven months.

Staff writer Rain Smith contributed to this story. 

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