A former Botetourt County teacher was arrested last week on charges relating to sending inappropriate messages to his students.

Paul Zachary Wakeman, 29, was directly indicted by the county grand jury on three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He will be arraigned Tuesday in Botetourt County Circuit Court.

Investigators searched Wakeman’s home and social media accounts in December after the county’s social services department told the sheriff’s office there was an allegation of inappropriate behavior.

A detective visited James River High School, where Wakeman taught agriculture, on Dec. 6. The detective spoke to a student who said Wakeman requested several photos of the student in little or no clothing, according to the search warrant affidavit.

During the investigation, deputies learned the teacher made numerous requests to other students at the school over a period of two years. Authorities executed search warrants for Wakeman’s Snapchat and Instagram accounts, which he used to message students and receive photos of them.

Investigators also seized his cellphone, laptop, iPod, external hard drive and multiple flash drives, according to the search warrants.

Superintendent John Busher confirmed in December the teacher was no longer employed.

The Botetourt County School Board called a special meeting Dec. 11 to discuss the resignation of “certificated personnel,” but named neither the person nor the school where that person worked. After an hour and a half in closed session, the board voted to accept the teacher’s resignation and start the process to revoke the teacher’s license through the Virginia Department of Education.

Wakeman posted a $5,000 unsecured bond and was instructed to have no contact with the victims or their families.

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Alison Graham covers Botetourt and Rockbridge counties and Lexington. She’s originally from Indianapolis and a graduate of Indiana University.

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