Community reacts to former teacher sentenced to prison for soliciting nude pictures of students

Jeremy Francis (Source: Sullivan County Sheriff's Office)

SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – A former Scott County teacher will spend the next two years in prison after admitting he had nude pictures of some of his students on his personal computer, according to Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Julie Canter.

“There were hundreds of photographs,” she said.

Canter says Former Rye Cove High School teacher Jeremy Francis pleaded guilty this morning to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to Canter, the investigation found Francis solicited nude pictures from some of his students and kept them on his home computer in Kingsport. She says investigators found hundreds of pictures of underage girls on that computer. The pictures did not show faces, she said.

“The two counts were based on the who we were able to identify,” said Canter. “However there were numerous victims that were unidentifiable because in a lot of the pictures there were no facial images to track down who they might have been.”

Students who knew Francis, like exchange student Ira Pollanen said he was a good teacher.

“He had a lot of interactive games to help us learn,” she said.

Pollanen said Francis taught 11th grade Biology, and she just does not understand why he would commit such a crime.

“I heard about in when I was back home in Finland,” she said.. “It wasn’t something I expected to hear.”

In addition to his prison sentence, Canter said Francis will remain a registered sex offender for at least the next 10 years.

Scott County officials previously told us Francis resigned in January 2015. News Channel 11 reached out to the school system Friday afternoon, but no calls were immediately returned.

Copyright WJHL 2016. All rights reserved.


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