Franklin County substitute teacher arrested for Grooming - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Franklin County substitute teacher arrested for Grooming

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UPDATED 1/15/19 AT 11:15 P.M.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ill. -- Just hours before a Nicholas Price was arrested and charged with grooming and distributing harmful material to minors, he was substitute teaching at Ewing Grade School. 

Price, 26, was arrested Monday afternoon after complaints of sex crimes with multiple minors. 

Superintendent of Ewing Grade School, Kristin Ing was surprised to learn one that her substitute teachers was arrested. 

"He met all the requirements to be a substitute," Ing said. "There were no criminal investigations or allegations anywhere that would give us any indication that was not an appropriate person to put in the classroom."

During the school day on Monday, Ing received a phone call from the Franklin County Sheriff's Department. 

"They asked me whether or not he was in the building and I confirmed he was." Ing said. "They also asked if there were any issues at that time and I said there were not."

Ing said she had no idea Price was putting her students in a dangerous situation, as the child grooming charges against him imply. 

"I did not have any indication within my building from my standpoint that I saw," Ing said.

Besides working in school districts within Franklin County, Price also served as an assistant Sunday school teacher at Immanuel Baptist Church in Benton. 

After hearing Price was arrested, the pastor of the church sent out a recording to his congregation Monday night:

The following is an important message from Immanuel Baptist Church. I have some heavy news to inform you of tonight Tonight one of our church members Nick Price was arrested on charges of grooming and distributing pornographic material in the Ewing area. I don't know if it's true or not, but I do know that Nick was arrested tonight. Nick is a volunteer of many of our ministries here, but at this time we do not know if any minors were involved at Immanuel Baptist Church

News 3's Emily Manley also spoke with a parent of an alleged victim on Tuesday. The mother didn't want to go on camera but said her preteen son is one of at least eight victims. She saw the inappropriate pictures and messages Price sent to her son through Snapchat and Instagram. 

She and other parents of students at Ewing Grade School got a letter from Ing Tuesday, informing them of Price's pending criminal charges. 

Prior to January 14, the District had no knowledge of the conduct forming the criminal charges nor any prior knowledge or an ongoing criminal investigation. These allegations are very serious and the district is cooperating fully with all parties involved. Ewing Grade School remains focused and committed to providing students a secure and safe learning environment.

"I don't them to worry or be concerned when their kid walks in our door everyday," Ing said. "That's our top priority."

Ewing isn't the only school in which students were potentially put in harm's way by staff. 

News 3 has also learned that Price's brother-in-law, Jeremy Jackson, was arrested in 2018 for solicitation of a sexual act to a minor. 

Jackson worked at Benton High School at the time he was charged. Jackson Superintendent Aaron Mattox said in a statement:

Jeremy Jackson is no longer employed with Benton High School. He resigned in July 2018. 
He worked as a computer network specialist at the high school from August 2009 until July 2018. 

Parents of the students at Ewing Grade School are encouraged to call the Superintendent Ing with any concerns at (618) 629-2181. 

ORIGINAL STORY 1/14/19 AT 8:21 P.M.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ill. -- A 26-year-old substitute teacher from Ewing faces charges for 2 counts of felony Grooming and 2 counts of Distributing Harmful Material to a Minor.

Nicholas A. Price was arrested this evening by Franklin County Sheriff's office and the department also executed a warrant at his residence.

Frankfort Community Unit School District 168 Superintendent Matt Donkin confirms to News 3 that Price is on a substitute teacher list in Franklin County.

The Sheriff's office says the investigation is ongoing, and further arrests are possible.

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