Florence teacher charged with sexual conduct with students

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A Florence teacher has been charged with criminal sexual conduct after investigators say the West Florence High teacher exchanged inappropriate texts with two students.

Amy Lynn Barhite, 32, of Florence, was charged with criminal solicitation of a minor on Tuesday. Investigators say the teacher texted a pair of teenage students "for the purpose or intent of persuading, inducing, enticing, or coercing the underage person to engage in or participate in sexual activity."

According to Florence County authorities, the investigation began when school officials heard Barhite was supplying alcohol to students. School officials asked a student indirectly about the alcohol, and the student asked if they were inquiring about the text messages.

Officials allege the incidents occurred between one student and Barhite between November 2008 and June 2009 and between the other student and Barhite between January and June 2009. Investigators have not been able to determine if photos were exchanged via text.

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