Ex-Goodyear teacher pleads guilty in sex case - WNEM TV 5


Ex-Goodyear teacher pleads guilty in sex case

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Kyle Curtis DeBerry Kyle Curtis DeBerry

A former teacher and wrestling coach at a Goodyear high school pleaded guilty to child abuse with sexual intent.

Maricopa County prosecutors said Kyle Curtis DeBerry, 25, entered his plea Monday to charges filed in late 2013.

DeBerry was accused of the same thing the previous year. However, no criminal charges were ever filed, and DeBerry was allowed back to school.

DeBerry taught special education and coached wrestling at Desert Edge High School in Goodyear.

A Goodyear police report from October 2012 stated that DeBerry was observed, "rubbing up against" a student at a homecoming dance and had a student "put her number into his cell phone."

School officials contacted Goodyear police, who started an investigation.

Authorities found there wasn't enough evidence to press criminal charges.

But what about school standards and district code of conduct?

CBS 5 News sat down with Agua Fria High School District Superintendent Dennis Runyan and asked him why the teacher was allowed to return to school and whether DeBerry violated any district policies.

"In the original investigation, it was not conclusive as to any offense at all," said Runyan. "The evidence that was there was insufficient to take any additional actions."

Runyan told CBS 5 News that he has seen incidents before, where students will falsely accuse a teacher of criminal misconduct.

It's imperative that any decision on a teacher's status be based on factual information, not rumors.

"We did take steps," said Runyan. "We did suspend the employee, pending the investigation. We did do our due diligence. We did report to police."

"Rumor is one thing, but actually taking action against somebody, in terms of discipline is something else," Runyan said.

Investigators said that in the most recent case, a 16-year-old female student reported receiving sexually explicit texts from DeBerry in April 2013.

DeBerry resigned in August, just a few days after the sexually explicit texts were reported and school officials suspended him and called police.

DeBerry is scheduled to be sentenced on July 8 and prosecutors say he could be facing a jail sentence.

Copyright 2015 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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