Teacher arrested on child sex charges

James Neihof
James Neihof
Martha Layne Collins High School
Martha Layne Collins High School

SHELBYVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Shelby County special education teacher is facing child sex charges. 42-year-old Shannon Hirchert is accused of having five sexual encounters with one student and one encounter with another student.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department said both boys were under age 18 and were not in Hirchert's class. She is charged with six counts of sexual abuse and two counts of distribution of obscene material to a minor.

According to James Neihof, superintendent of the Shelby County Public Schools, Hirchert transferred to the district from the Oldham County Public Schools a year ago.

The alleged encounters happened in various locations across the county between September and December 2010. According to the sheriff's department, that included Martha Layne Collins High School. Neihof told us how they found out about it.

"An employee overheard some conversations and started putting two and two together and began asking questions," said Neihof.

Detective Jason Rice said they began interviewing the parties involved and those interviews led to the arrest of the teacher Wednesday.

The two counts of sending obscene matter to minors are because police say was Hirchert sending pornographic pictures to the boys from her cell phone.

"I'm extremely disappointed and I'm appalled by what has been reported about the conduct of one of our employees," Neihof said.

Neihof said the school system is cooperating with the ongoing police investigation and asked that anyone with information call the Shelby County Sheriff's Department or his office.

Our calls to Hirchert were not returned.

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