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A Gatesville, Texas teacher allegedly sent nude photos to a teenager: reports

An eighth-grade teacher in Texas resigned after he was arrested Friday for allegedly sending sexually explicit messages and photos to a 15-year-old on Instagram, according to multiple reports.

Christine Paige Cockrell, an earth science teacher at Gatesville Junior High School, is charged with indecency toward a child and possession of child pornography with intent to distribute, according to a criminal complaint obtained by local media including KXXV and KWTX.

The 15-year-old high school student told the Gatesville Independent School District on April 11 that he and Cockrell had been exchanging nude photos and sexting since October 2023, the Waco, Texas-based TV stations reported.

The teen said Cockrell sent him “nude pictures of her breasts” and requested that he send “nude pictures of himself,” according to the complaint.

Cockrell ‘admitted to messaging students on Instagram’

When school district officials questioned Cockrell about the allegations, “she admitted to messaging students on Instagram, but could not recall if a photo of her breasts was sent in the chats,” KWTX reported.

The nude photos were sent between Oct. 8, 2023, and Nov. 11, 2023, the complaint said. During this time, Cockrell and the teen talked about “meeting for sex” but never did, the lawsuit continued.

The teen said he and Cockrell started talking sexually on Instagram in January 2023 midway through his eighth grade year, KWTX said.

Cockrell told 15-year-old about ‘her past sexual partners’

Cockrell also told the teen about “her past sexual partners” and interests that local media reported, citing the complaint.

“Christine said she wanted to ‘take a younger man under her wing and teach him things, like a 16-year-old,'” the complaint said, according to KWTX.

Cockrell then asked the teen questions about his genitals, the TV station reported.

Former student told authorities that Cockrell propositioned him for sex

When authorities interviewed Cockrell, she allegedly revealed that a former student had propositioned her for sex, the complaint said.

Detectives contacted the former student and learned that Cockrell sent him a message on Instagram around his 17th birthday on March 4, 2023, saying he was “cute,” according to the complaint. When the student told the teacher he was in high school, she responded, “Nobody needs to know,” the court heard, according to KWTX.

Cockrell has resigned from Gatesville ISD

Gatesville ISD said on May 3 that it had placed Cockrell, who it did not identify at the time, on administrative leave pending an investigation, Fox 44 reported. Shortly afterward, Cockrell submitted her resignation and is not allowed to be on district property, according to the TV station .

There are currently no allegations of inappropriate contact, Gatesville ISD told Fox 44. The district also said it will continue to cooperate with law enforcement.

USA TODAY contacted Gatesville ISD on Tuesday but did not receive an immediate response. Gatesville police referred USA TODAY to Gatesville ISD police.

Cockrell posted $20,000 bail on Saturday and was released from the Coryell County Jail, Fox 44 reported.