Matthew Bowling, 31, was a teacher in Bardstown, Kentucky until an investigation began concerning an inappropriate relationship between him and a student. (Source: LMDC)
Brian Reynolds, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Louisville
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A former Kentucky teacher pleaded not guilty to rape charges stemming from accusations of an inappropriate relationship with a student.
According to The News-Enterprise (http://bit.ly/1eDzchU), Matthew Bowling, 31, a resident of Louisville, was a teacher at Bethlehem High School in Bardstown, Kentucky from 2008 until this year.
The Hardin County newspaper reported Tom Hamilton, the school principal, confirmed Bowling has not been in school since July when he resigned after the allegations of an inappropriate relationship surfaced.
The Archdiocese of Louisville said a parent notified them of Bowling's alleged relationship with a female student at the Catholic college preparatory school.
"A meeting was held with the teacher and he admitted to an inappropriate relationship. He didn't give us a lot of detail but…he resigned," said Brian Reynolds, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Louisville. "Following our policy, we took the information we had and gave it to the Bardstown Police Department."
A police investigation headed by the Louisville Metro Police Department with help from the Bardstown Police Department began in July, according to the Archdiocese.
On September 9, LMPD charged Bowling with two counts of third degree rape, according to court documents. Those documents show he was arraigned a week later, at which time he pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.
Authorities have not released the age of the victim in the case.
According to Kentucky state law, someone can be convicted of third degree rape if he/she is over 21 years of age and found guilty of engaging in sexual activity with someone under 16. It can also be applied to cases in which a teacher or other person in a position of authority is found guilty of having sexual intercourse with someone under their authority, such as a student, who is younger than 18.
Bowling's next court date is scheduled for early November.