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Students Rally For Teacher Facing Sex Charges

Updated: Wednesday, February 20 2013, 10:44 PM EST
Former Community High civics teacher Tony Henthorn got a firsthand lesson in one of three branches of government.  The 29-year-old appeared in Buncombe District Court Wednesday to answer child sexual exploitation charges.

Also in court were a handful more of Henthorn's former students like Cori Axelson.  "I honestly don't believe it," Axelson said.  "I don't think they're right.  I don't think he should even be going through this."

It doesn't stop there.  Nearly ninety students have liked a "Free Tony Henthorn" Facebook page.

"He never tried to flirt with us or any sexual context," former student Kaylie Freeman told News 13's Mario Boone.

WLOS-TV was the first to report Henthorn's legal problems, which began last October.  That's when a 17-year-old girl in Henthorn's class admitted sexting nude pictures to her boyfriend.  Somehow the naked pictures wound up on Henthorn's cell phone. 

Even school leaders acknowledge Henthorn voluntarily told his principal about the sexually explicit pictures.  That's why his lawyer Rodney Hasty doesn't understand why the teacher was charged in the first place.  "I think charging somebody under these circumstances sets a terrible precedent for teachers in this situation," said Hasty.

Henthorn's next court date is April 25th.  He remains free on bond is suspended from the classroom indefinitely. 

By: Mario Boone, mlboone@wlos.com
Follow on Twitter: @marioboone Students Rally For Teacher Facing Sex Charges


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