PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A former South Allegheny School District teacher, accused of having inappropriate contact with two students, appeared in court Wednesday.
Cole McLaughlin, 23, was a first-year social studies teacher at South Allegheny Middle School.
McLaughlin’s attorney didn’t say anything as he escorted his client into his two preliminary hearings.
McLaughlin faces charges for relationships with two students. The girls were 12 and 17 when the alleged incidents were reported. Both victims testified in court.
They told the judge that the alleged relationships began through the apps – Snapchat and Trivia Crack.
The then 12-year-old, who is now 13, testified that she and McLaughlin allegedly exchanged text messages for about a week before her mother discovered them.
The criminal complaint details some of the messages, including McLaughlin reportedly texting, “I want you to do whatever feels right, your body is my body.”
The girl also testified that McLaughlin allegedly hugged her often and kissed her a lot when she spent time in his classroom after school for Character Education.
The 17-year-old senior testified that she first met McLaughlin when she worked as an office aide in the school’s office.
She told the judge McLaughlin allegedly showed her two nude pictures of himself on his cell phone, and he confronted her and allegedly groped her when she was delivering a box to an empty classroom. The girl says she tried to get away.
McLaughlin’s charges include institutional sexual assault, dissemination to minors, corruption of minors, unlawful contact with a minor and indecent assault.
Detectives learned about McLaughlin’s relationship with the 17-year-old while investigating the relationship with the 12-year-old. He faces felony charges in both cases.