An Antietam High School teacher was arrested Wednesday on charges he had an inappropriate relationship with one of his students.
Stephen Sanchez admitted to the relationship, which included kissing the now 17-year-old girl and exposing his genitals to her during a live chat on a social media website, said detectives with the Berks County district attorney's office.
Detectives said they learned during their investigation that Sanchez, a chemistry teacher at Antietam since Jan. 2010, and the alleged victim participated in Bible sessions at her home in Mount Penn during the 2012 school year and throughout the summer.
Sanchez, 26, of Spring Township, told detectives his relationship with the alleged victim began because of their faith in God and grew to having feelings beyond faith.
"Mr. Sanchez did tell investigators what took place and that this was inappropriate," said District Attorney John Adams.
Sanchez surrendered to authorities Wednesday morning on charges of indecent exposure and corruption of minors. He was released on unsecured bail.
The Antietam School District has also suspended Sanchez without pay, barred him from school property and ordered him to have no further contact with the district's students pending the outcome of the case, said Larry Mayes, the district's superintendent.
Sanchez is the third Berks County teacher in the past week and the fourth in the last two months to be arrested on charges of having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
"We are seeing an explosion of reports of inappropriate contact, inappropriate relations," Adams said.
Over the past year, Adams said his office has seen about a 60% increase in cases against minors in Berks County.
"We've asked our commissioners for two additional detectives to investigate child abuse," said Adams.
Kristy Risell, an English teacher at Daniel Boone Area High School, who was arrested last week, had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old male student, officials said.
Jean Kleckner, a substitute teacher and head field hockey coach in the Muhlenberg School District, sexually abused a female family friend in 2008 and 2009, detectives said.
Jonathan Bell, an art teacher in the Exeter Township School District and a water polo coach in the Governor Mifflin School District, was charged in August with having sexual contact with two students.