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DIGGING DEEPER UPDATE: Former band director charged with child seduction, possession of child porn

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - A former teacher and band director at Heritage Junior Senior High School was charged Thursday with two felony counts -- four months after he was accused of misconduct and left that position.

A probable cause affidavit shows a single count of child seduction and a second of possession of child pornography were filed against Josiah Pfenning.

Pfenning is accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a student in April, when the victim was a high school junior.

The incidents allegedly took place on school grounds.

Documents show the victim told police that contact started with hugs and kisses -- on the cheek and later the lips -- but progressed to include touching, "making out" and contact with the breast and private parts.

According to the affidavit, Pfenning told the victim they could do "a whole lot more" once she turned 18, and that he loved her.

He is accused of soliciting photos of the girl in the nude, and allegedly warned the girl to keep things quiet so he did not get in trouble.

Pfenning was the subject of a September Digging Deeper investigation in which ABC21 spoke with a woman who said she had advised the school about her own past relationship with Pfenning, when the woman was 14 years old.

Just as the 16-year-old student at Heritage claims, the relationship was consensual at first, but in a matter of weeks, the woman said that changed.

“I kind of put my foot down and that’s when he kind of forced himself on me,” she recounted. “He was just very intimidating.”

That woman said no action was taken when she contacted officials about a year before the more recent complaints surfaced.

“I kind of asked myself what I owe his students, or their parents. I asked myself what I would like to appreciate from someone as a parent. So, I called.”

As of Thursday, the state's online system shows Pfenning maintains a valid teaching license.

Thursday evening, a spokesperson for East Allen County Schools sent a statement. It reads "The school district is aware that a former employee has been accused of misconduct involving a high school student.  The school district has fully cooperated with the authorities in this matter and will continue to do so going forward.  The safety and well being of our students remains our highest priority."

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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