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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - An Horry County teacher is behind bars Wednesday morning, arrested on two serious charges dealing with a minor.
Shane Allen Watson, 26, of Surfside Beach was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention center at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon evening, charged with communicating obscene messages and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The arrest report states the victim, a 13-year-old boy, began receiving sexually text messages around October 13 that were sent through a masking service known as "Textem."
That system, the report details, allowed the sender to remain anonymous. The victim may have believed the anonymous suspect was a classmate, but the person who filed the report believed the tone and content of the messages indicated the sender was an adult trying to engage the teen in "a sexually based conversation."
The investigation by Horry County Police found the messages came from two different IP addresses, both of which were registered to Shane Watson.
WMBF News was in the bond hearing for Shane Watson, where he told a judge he has been suspended with pay from the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology where he works.
On the charge of obscene messages to another person, he was given a $10,000 surety bond. He was also given a $15,000 surety bond for the contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge.
David Powers told WMBF News he has been a friend of Watson's for roughly 15 years and he thinks the bond amount was a little steep.
"I think it seemed a little bit harsh, just for what it was. Basically me and his parents want to get him home and do what we can with this spiritually and of course in the court system," Powers said.
Powers said Watson is a good person.
"He's a great guy. Never heard a wrong, never had a wrong thing about him. Always a guy I could depend on," Powers said.
judge also issued a no contact order between Watson and the victim and placed him on a GPS monitor. At this time Watson is not allowed to go to any school functions at all, regardless if it's on school property or not.
"It's gonna be a lot of big changes for him. And, of course it's gonna depend on what happens in the court system. The main thing we want to do is keep his head on his shoulders and help him through it right now," Powers said.
According to Watson's Linked-In social media page, he identifies himself as a Social Studies teacher at the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology or S.T.E.M. Watson also states on the site that he obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Coastal Carolina University.