Police: Upstate student teacher sends lewd text to girl

Benjamin Dylan Arthur (Photo: WYFF)
Benjamin Dylan Arthur (Photo: WYFF)

SPARTANBURG, SC (WYFF) - An Upstate student teacher is accused of sending sexual texts and repeatedly calling a 15-year-old student.

Benjamin Dylan Arthur, 26, is charged with criminal solicitation of a minor.

According to an arrest warrant, Arthur solicited a 15-year-old student by texting her and asking her to participate in sexual activities. He is also accused of sending the student a picture of himself without a shirt on. The victim said Arthur also called her phone repeatedly.

Spartanburg police say Arthur is a student at USC Upstate, where he is seeking a teaching degree.

Police say Arthur met the victim while he was student teaching at Spartanburg High Freshman Academy. The victim said she did not give Arthur her phone number. She said he got it from the roster.

The incident report says Arthur and the victim started talking through text message about school and then escalated to sexual messages.

According to police, a friend of the victim called them after the victim told her about the text messages.

Police said when they contacted Arthur about the case he agreed to meet them at city hall to discuss.

Arthur was given a $5,000 bond and released from jail Monday morning.

Tammy Whaley, assistant vice chancellor for university communications at USC Upstate said  "There was nothing in Benjamin Arthur's behavior before or during student teaching to indicate the potential for this kind of behavior. He did a good job in student teaching according to his University supervisor and his cooperating high school teacher."

Whaley recalls no such incident ever taking place before in the USC School of Education. "The integrity of our teacher education program and the safety of the students in the cooperating schools are our utmost concern."

Although Arthur was on schedule to receive his diploma on Dec. 18, he will face disciplinary sanctions and his status for graduating from the University will be on hold until his case comes to trial.

Copyright 2012 by WYFF All rights reserved.