Courtesy photo John Cariel

Courtesy photo

John Cariel

Grayson County Middle School Language Arts Teacher John W. Cariel has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to an alleged inappropriate sexual relationship with a student.

Cariel, a 65-year-old Leitchfield resident, was arraigned in Grayson District Court on Thursday, May 17 on the charges of Distribution of Obscene Matter to Minors, 1st Offense; Sexual Abuse, 1st Degree; Sodomy, 2nd Degree; and Prohibited Use of Electronic Communication System to Procure Minor: Sex Offenses.

Cariel entered a plea of not guilty to the charges brought against him, and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Cariel on Thursday, May 24 at 9:00 a.m. in Grayson District Court.

Cariel was arrested on the above charges on Tuesday morning, May 15, and the incidents leading up to his arrest allegedly occurred in October of 2017.

According to Cariel's arrest citation, School Resource Officer Ian Renfrow, on Friday, May 11, received a report of allegations concerning a sexual encounter between Cariel and a juvenile under the age of 14.

Through investigation, it was found that the alleged offender was employed at GCMS as a 6th grade teacher, and the victim was known to be a student at the same school at the time of the offense, the citation states.

It was found that the offender made initial contact with the victim via a social media-like application using his cellular device and allegedly sent photographs of his exposed genitalia to the juvenile victim via this application, the citation states.

The citation goes on to state that a physical sexual act was performed in the parking lot of a business in Caneyville around October of 2017.

Leitchfield Police Department (LPD) Captain Brandon Cook, in a televised press conference, would later confirm that the alleged victim was 13 years old and was not Cariel's student at the time of the incident.

Additionally, Cook said, the alleged victim is no longer a student at GCMS, but police contacted the juvenile, whom then provided information about the incident, and Cariel reportedly confirmed that information with police.

According to the arrest citation, Cariel was interviewed at the LPD on May 15, where he waived his Miranda Rights and confessed to the above allegations.