Charged Ooltewah teacher affidavit: Ok with "going the child predator route"

Former Ooltewah High School teacher Chandler Joseph Morris charged with sexual exploitation of a minor. (Images: WTVC, Hamilton Co. Sheriff's Office)

UPDATE (September 5):

Less than two weeks after being accused of sending a student inappropriate texts, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office says Chandler Morris is now in custody, after turning himself in on Thursday.

Warrants were taken out against him for two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor after an incident late last month, and he was given 30 days to turn himself in.

An affidavit obtained by NewsChannel 9 went into more detail about Morris's charges.

The report says the student told officers on August 20th about communication she received via Snapchat from Morris on August 16th, during school hours, while both were at the school.

The student told officers Morris sent a Snapchat message asking her for sex. The student replied that she was a minor. The student told officers Morris replied "yeah that's fine," and also said that he was okay with "going the child predator route," according to the affidavit.

"He blatantly did not care that she was still considered a child," Ooltewah High Alum Dakota Veal said. "That's absolutely disturbing."

The student told officers Morris wanted to meet her in the Walmart bathroom during lunch break.

After he was read his Miranda rights, the affidavit says Morris "admitted to having intentions of 'hooking up' with the victim in the Walmart bathroom during lunch break," according to the affidavit.

"I think he's sick," said Lynn Graham, whose granddaughter once went to Ooltewah High as a student. "He never should have been there to begin with."

Officers kept Morris's phone for evidence, and asked a judge for a search warrant to download its content. At that point, Morris was issued a misdemeanor citation for solicitation of a minor, and released.

Later, the affidavit says the search of the phone revealed messages sent by the victim to Morris, followed by messages asking if he deleted them. The affidavit continues: "Mr. Morris's phone is still being processed but (2) images were found on the phone and believed to be of the victim. The images were sexual in nature and the victim later identified them to be of her."

It was at that point that warrants were taken out for Morris' arrest.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

PREVIOUSLY (August 23):

Chattanooga Police are investigating after a student says a teacher at Ooltewah High School sent her inappropriate text messages. The district says the teacher has since resigned from the district.

According to Chattanooga Police, Chandler Morris has been charged with solicitation of a minor, and was issued a citation. He has up to 30 days to turn himself in. According to Hamilton County Schools spokesperson Tim Hensley, Morris was a teacher and an assistant football coach at the school.

A statement from the school district Tuesday afternoon says the OHS student reported the incident this morning, and school administration immediately called law enforcement. Chattanooga Police responded and began investigating.

Hensley says administrators also reported the incident to the Department of Children's Services (DCS) and Tennessee State Board of Education, keeping with the Hamilton County Board of Education's policies.

Hensley says Morris resigned Tuesday afternoon. Their identity has not yet been released.

"Hamilton County Schools holds the safety and wellbeing of its students as its top priority," said officials in the statement, "Hamilton County Schools will not tolerate conduct that adversely affects our ability to provide a safe and secure learning environment for students."

This is a developing story and will be updated as we learn more.

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