Dorchester County sheriff’s deputies have arrested an Ashley Ridge High School teacher accused of sending pictures of his genitalia to a student.
Andrew Jonathan Gerhardt, 27, of Elena Court in Summerville, is charged with one count of disseminating obscene material to a person under the age of 18.
Gerhardt teaches physical education and coaches JV women’s basketball, according to the school’s website. He is an annual contract teacher who has been with the Dorchester District 2 for one year, district spokeswoman Pat Raynor said.
Detectives in an arrest affidavit accused Gerhardt of sending a photo of his genitalia to a 16-year-old girl July 14.
Deputies were dispatched to Ashley Ridge on Monday concerning the obscene photo, an incident report states.
The girl’s parents found the photo after taking her phone away from her as a punishment for breaking curfew, the report states.
Gerhardt’s face and body parts were both in plain view in the image, deputies said.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Gerhardt on Tuesday. He has since been released from the Dorchester County jail on a $20,000 public recognizance bond, deputies said.
District 2 officials have been extremely concerned and helpful during the investigation, Lt. Tony Phinney said.
Raynor said that Gerhardt was given notice of his recommended dismissal on Thursday.
“The school and district have cooperated fully with the sheriff’s department in the investigation of the reported incident,” Raynor said in a statement on Friday.