Former Scott County teacher gets 10 years for sexting students

Rain Smith • Aug 21, 2019 at 2:04 PM

GATE CITY — A former Scott County teacher will spend 10 years in prison for sexting with students.

Jeremy Dale Francis’ sentence was handed down Friday in Scott County Circuit Court, where he had previously pleaded guilty to proposing a sex act to a minor. According to Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Dan Fellhauer, the case involved Francis both sending photos and receiving photos from a pair of students at Rye Cove High School.

Francis has already served seven months in jail in Sullivan County, where in 2016 he pleaded guilty to related charges. They regarded photos of students that were found on his home computer in Kingsport.

Francis served as a science teacher at Rye Cove from August 2008 until January 2015, when he resigned. Since then, criminal investigation of Francis has also extended into Wise County.

Last month, he was scheduled for trial there on felony charges of soliciting child pornography and possession of child pornography. On July 19, Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp III announced that additional charges against Francis were warranted.

The original Wise County charges were withdrawn so a grand jury could consider new evidence. Any new charges are still pending.