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Teacher resigns amid sexual misconduct investigation

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PLAQUEMINE- A high school teacher at St. John Catholic High School resigned as an investigation into alleged misconduct with another student began.

Documents obtained by the Investigative Unit show the complaint was first filed by the principal at the school last December. We're told the principal received a tip of alleged misconduct, and reported it to police under the state's mandatory reporting laws. Since that complaint was filed, the teacher resigned.

Plaquemine Police Chief Kenny Payne told WBRZ his office is going through nearly 40,000 text messages on the teacher's phone, and some of them were from and to multiple students. It's a tedious process because each text has to be checked out to see which ones, if any, are inappropriate.

We reached out for a comment from the principal, but never heard back.

The Diocese of Baton Rouge released this statement to the Investigative Unit. It reads, "The school did not receive a verifiable complaint but did forward the information received to local authorities. This is a personnel matter and, due to privacy, we cannot discuss it further. The teacher resigned and we are fully cooperating with civil authorities in any investigation they may be conducting, within the guidelines of the law."

WBRZ is not identifying the teacher until investigators complete their work. The teacher in question is a former student at the school, and the school's website still shows he works there.

WBRZ spoke to several people who have children who complained since they were never notified by the school about this matter. However, they didnt' want to do an interview.

Investigators said the teacher has maintained his innocence.

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