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Hopkins County Schools teachers arrested this week for alleged sexual abuse, distributing ‘obscene matter’

Madisonville North Hopkins High School.
Hopkins County Schools
Madisonville North Hopkins High School.

Two high school teachers in Hopkins County Schools are facing charges — including alleged sexual abuse and distributing “obscene matter” to minors — after being arrested by local law enforcement this week.

A Madisonville Police Department press release Wednesday stated 39-year-old Brandon Poole, listed as an English teacher at Madisonville North Hopkins High School, allegedly showed an “animated video” that contained obscene matter to students in his class on Aug. 17.

Madisonville Police Department officers arrested and charged Poole on Wednesday with 11 misdemeanor counts of distributing obscene matter to minors.

On Monday, Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested 51-year-old James Larson, listed as a teacher at Hopkins County Central High School, and charged him with alleged sexual abuse. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the sheriff’s office said the arrest stemmed from an incident that took place Aug. 17 involving a juvenile female student.

In statements, a Hopkins County Schools spokesperson said the district’s “number one priority is the safety of our students and staff” and that both situations are being handled by law enforcement. The spokesperson said the district would not comment on either specific situation due to “the confidentiality of personnel situations.”

“[A]s required by law, Hopkins County Schools does and will continue to immediately report all suspected incidents of child abuse, neglect, dependency, and any potential criminal activity that comes to the attention of our administration,” the spokesperson said.

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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