South Aiken teacher sentenced to probation for student contact

AIKEN -- A former South Aiken High School teacher was sentenced in court this morning to three years probation involving a 2008 case in which he was accused of inappropriate contact with a female student.

Craig R. Kessler pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was given a three-year sentence that was suspended to probation, said Strom Thurmond Jr., solicitor for the 2nd Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Thurmond said Mr. Kessler was originally charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, as well as contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He said the assault charge was dropped because “we were not going to be able to establish physical contact beyond kissing.”

Mr. Thurmond said Mr. Kessler also was ordered to receive counseling as prescribed by the Department of Probation, to have no contact with the victim or her family and to resign effective immediately from South Aiken.

“From here, as I understand the process, the Aiken County Board of Education will forward this information on to the state board in Columbia and then they will conduct an investigation relating to his teaching certificate,” Mr. Thurmond said.

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