Crime

Horry County teacher charged after student received improper text messages

An Horry County teacher remained jailed late Wednesday after his arrest on charges in connection with a 13-year-old boy, who was in his class, receiving sexually suggestive text messages, according to authorities.

Shane Allen Watson, 26, of Surfside Beach was charged Tuesday with communicating obscene messages to another person and contributing to the delinquency of a minor and booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center, according to jail records. Watson’s bond was set at $25,000 on Wednesday morning.

Watson, a teacher at the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology, is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the police investigation and a separate school investigation into the incident, said Teal Britton, Horry County Schools spokeswoman.

The charges stemmed from about 10:30 a.m. Oct. 13, when a 13-year-old boy started receiving text messages on his cell phone that were sexually suggestive in nature, according to the Horry County police report. An investigation showed that the messages were being sent through a masking service to allow the sender to remain anonymous.

The messages were sent as if a classmate of the boy had tried to engage him in a sexually based conversation, according to the report. Police got subpoenas and search warrants for an internet provider to get two IP addresses from which the messages were sent.

Police learned those addresses were registered to Watson, according to the report. Watson is the victim’s ninth grade teacher.

According to LinkedIn, Watson listed his profession as a social studies teacher as well as an EMT since June 2004 and a S.C. State Constable since July 2011.

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