JEFFERSON TWP., Pa. - A teacher's aide in the Tulpehocken Area School District is in trouble with the law for allegedly sending sexual messages and photos to students, at times using at least one of her two daughters' cell phones, state police said.
Sherrie Lynn Kugel has been charged with two counts each of child pornography, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors. She's been freed on $25,000 unsecured bail.
Kugel, 44, admitted to state troopers that she sent partially nude photos of herself to two 16-year-old male students, according to court documents.
She said she also exchanged sexually explicit messages with one of the boys, although both of the alleged victims told investigators they received sexual messages from her, according to police.
Both boys also told investigators that they shared with Kugel pictures of their exposed genitals, police said.
Kugel has been with the school district for at least five years, working as an aide at Bethel Elementary School, according to superintendent Ed Albert, who noted that she has been placed on administrative leave without pay.
Kugel is the second Tulpehocken Area School District staffer to be accused in recent months of having an inappropriate relationship with students.
"Personally, it is like a nightmare. You do not want to hear this involving students," said Dr. Edward Albert, Tulpehocken superintendent.
Nicole Kurowksi, a physical education teacher, admitted in court in March to having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student.
According to investigators, thousands of text messages and dozens of pictures were exchanged between Kurowski and the senior, dating back to October 2012.
"We are supposed to be people that are supposed to be trusted, supposed to be role models, who are supposed to be setting examples for our youth and when something like this happens, I think education takes a step backwards and it is unfortunate," said Albert.
Allentown, PA 18102