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Breaking NewsFormer Cannelton Schools Superintendent Thomas indicted

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By The Staff

PIKE COUNTY - A former superintendent of Cannelton City Schools was indicted Thursday for allegedly failing to report child abuse.

D. John Thomas, 61, superintendent of Pike Central Schools, turned himself in to police, as did Pike Central High School Principal LeAnne Kelly, 46. Both were indicted for failing to report child abuse or neglect, a Class B misdemeanor.

A state-police news release said the indictments stem from two separate cases involving Luke Musselwhite, 26, a former teacher at Pike Central High School. The first investigation, which was initiated in August 2008, alleges Musselwhite sent hundreds of text messages to a 17-year-old female student in October and November 2007. Several of the messages were sexual in nature.  Musselwhite was arrested by Indiana State Police Sept. 2, 2008, for dissemination of harmful material to a minor, Class D felony and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a Class A misdemeanor.

Another investigation was initiated in January on information that Musselwhite allegedly battered a female student at Pike Central High School in August 2008.  Musselwhite allegedly struck a female student on the back of her leg with a yard stick.  On Jan. 22, Indiana State Police Detective Tobias Odom arrested Musselwhite for battery, a Class B misdemeanor.

Authorities allege Thomas and Kelley had knowledge of both incidents involving Musslewhite but failed to notify police or child protective services.

As the result of Odom's investigations, Pike County Prosecutor Darrin McDonald presented the information to a grand jury.  After several days of testimony, the grand jury indicted Thomas and Kelley. They were arrested Thursday afternoon after turning themselves in at the Pike County Jail.  Both were released after posting bond.