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Former teacher pleads not guilty in sexting case

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Judge denies motion to reduce Durrant's bond

By Sarah Bennett

A former J.T. Alton Middle School teacher facing 30 felony charges remains behind bars in lieu of a $100,000 cash after a Hardin Circuit Court judge denied a motion to reduce bond.

Anthony D. Durrant, 46, of Rineyville, pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon to allegations he exchanged sexually explicit text messages and photographs with a female student who is younger than 16 years old.

The U.S. Army veteran and former social studies teacher was indicted Thursday on 14 counts of use of a minor in a sexual performance, nine counts of unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities, five counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor, and one count each of first-degree sexual abuse and tampering with physical evidence.

At the time of his indictment, Durrant was released on a partially secured $25,000 bond set in Hardin District Court.

However, that bond was increased to $100,000 cash following indictment into circuit court and a warrant was issued for Durrant’s arrest. He was arrested Sunday by Kentucky State Police.

On Tuesday, Durrant’s attorney, Roger Rigney, filed a motion to reduce the bond and asked it be lowered to the amount set in district court. Rigney cited the defendant’s lack of prior criminal history and 20-year service to the military.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Teresa Logsdon argued Durrant allegedly committed a new offense while released on his district court bond.

According to Logsdon, the 30th charge on the indictment — tampering with physical evidence — is alleged to have occurred May 1, nine days after Durrant’s release.

Durrant is accused of contacting a company and asking to delete content from that account, Logsdon said.

Judge Kelly Mark Easton said he must consider multiple factors when addressing a bond amount.

While he acknowledged there is no indication Durrant has a prior criminal record, Easton said he also must consider the nature of the charges and timing of the alleged tampering offense.

When the bond was set in district court, Durrant faced one count each of first-degree sexual abuse and use of electronic means to induce a minor. At that time, a partially secured $25,000 bond was appropriate, Easton said.

The former teacher now faces multiple Class B felonies, he said.

“That’s not the same as what was going on in district court,” the judge said.

Durrant remains lodged at Hardin County Detention Center. A pretrial conference is set for July 2.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.