JC School Teacher Facing Sex Charges
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The Cole County grand jury has indicted a Jefferson City Public Schools band teacher on two counts of sexual contact with a female student.
The indictment, filed Tuesday afternoon with the Cole County circuit court, charged Christopher Knehans, 37, of 740 Glendale Drive, with the contact on two different days last month.
The first charge says contact occurred on or about Sept. 10, when he touched a female student’s breasts and genitals.
The second count says an incident occurred on or about Sept. 23, and that Knehans touched a female with his genitals.
No probable cause statement was provided with the indictment, Prosecutor Mark Richardson explained, because “the indictment is based upon a probable cause finding by the grand jury” and is not placed in the court file.
The charges identify Knehans as a teacher at both Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Jefferson City High School.
District officials confirmed Tuesday he was the band instructor at the middle school and one of several assistant band directors at the high school.
The indictment identified the victim as a female student at the high school.
Richardson said the charges involve only one student.
Superintendent Brian Mitchell said district administrators were told Sept. 27 about “allegations of inappropriate behavior” involving Knehans and a student, and
Knehans immediately was placed on paid administrative leave.
He will remain on paid leave while both the district’s internal investigation and the ongoing law enforcement probe continue.
“Disciplinary action, including termination and revocation of his teaching certification, are options” for the future, Mitchell said.
Knehans is scheduled to appear for arraignment before Cole County Judge Dan Green on Nov. 16.
He posted a $5,000 surety bond Oct. 3 and his attorney, Scott Hamblin, filed a request for “discovery” information from the prosecutor on Oct. 4 — two weeks before the indictment was issued.
Hamblin did not return a message requesting a comment for this story, and Knehans could not be reached.