A 6th grade teacher is accused of sending sexually explicit cell phone material to a former student who's under 18.
Madison County Central teacher Eddie Richie Junior faces a felony charge and indefinite suspension from school with pay.
More than 1100 students ranging from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade attend Madison Central School.
In addition to his job as a 6th grade teacher, Richie is an assistant football coach there.
Now he's accused of sending sexually explicit cell phone messages to a former student.
Reporter: "So this was not a single message, these were multiple messages?
Madison County Sheriff Ben Stewart: "Right, we could say that."
Sheriff Stewart says the parents of a girl Richie knows as a former student and to be under 18 brought the case to his office.
The sheriff than asked for help from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Investigators found pictures as part of the cell phone messages.
"I can say that there was an overwhelming amount of evidence," Sheriff Stewart said. "This is not a questionable case, this is an overwhelming case," he said.
Madison Central principal Doctor Willie Miles declined to talk to us on camera.
He told us the school family is surprised and hurt but will stay focused on student achievement.
Mile says a long term substitute has replaced Richie in the classroom during his indefinite suspension.
We went to Richie's home and knocked on the door.
No one answered.
Sheriff Stewart says Richie has a wife and small children.
"Very unfortunate situation," said Sheriff Stewart. "Just something that's very unexpected and just a shock to a lot of people, just a sad situation," he said.
We're also told Richie is a former assistant basketball coach at Madison County High School.
Madison County Schools Human Resources Director Willie Williams says the school system is conducting its own investigation.
He says administrators will act swiftly, but declined further comment.
News Release: Madison County Sheriff's Office
Madison County Sheriff Ben Stewart reports that on Tuesday the 26th day of November 2013 the Sheriff’s Office received a complaint involving a minor female receiving sexually explicit material on her cell phone from an adult male.
Special agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Live Oak Field Office assisted the Madison County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Division with the investigation. The investigation determined the suspect was a School employee and the victim (minor) was a former student of the suspect.
On Monday the 2nd day of December 2013, a probable cause affidavit was presented to the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial Court, in and for Madison County Florida and an Arrest Warrant for one Edward Pierre Richie Jr. was obtained and executed on the same day.
Arrested: Edward Pierre Richie, W/M, DOB: 12/09/1979, Lee Florida
Charged: Transmission of Material Harmful to a Minor by Electronic Device or Equipment (FS. 847.0138)
Third Degree Felony.