Melinda Dennehy, 41 and a mother of two, is an English teacher at Londonderry High School. Despite her degree, she apparently did not read, or did not understand, laws on indecent exposure, however.
Melinda Dennehy turned herself in to Londonderry police last Friday. She reportedly sent four "sexy" shots of herself to a 16-year-old male student at that high school. The student thought the pictures were "hot" enough that he forwarded the images to his friends.
According to the police, the pictures were sent two months ago. The teenager also told police that Melinda Dennehy had "continuously sent him text messages." Many of those were, he said, sexually explicit. He added that she "kissed him twice on two separate occasions" in a classroom.
According to the local Londonderry website, the charge of indecent exposure leveled at Melinda Dennehy is considered a Class B Felony. The maximum punishment is up to seven years in state prison and a fine of $4,000.
Dennehy was released on $10,000 personal recognizance bail; she is due to be arraigned in the Derry District Court on April 30, 2010. Dennehy is to have no contact with anyone under the age of sixteen and was ordered to stay away from all Londonderry School property.
Sexting is a word that combines sex and texting (or text messaging). As previously noted, child pornography charges have been brought against some teens due to the practice. In response, the question of when sexting should be a crime, particularly among consensual teens, remains an open issue.
You can listen to the school districts press conference on Melinda Dennehy here.