LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A former Jefferson County Public Schools teacher accused of multiple sex crimes involving one of her students was fired after she declined to appear in a due process meeting with the W.E.B. DuBois Academy’s principal, who planned to ask her about several allegations that emerged about her involvement with two students.
JCPS provided Micca Watts-Gordon’s termination letter Thursday in response to an open records request by WDRB News. Her firing was effective April 22, according to Renee Murphy, the district’s communications chief.
JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio fired Watts-Gordon for "insubordination, immoral character or conduct unbecoming a teacher, inefficiency, incompetency, and neglect of duty," the letter says.
Watts-Gordon, 37, was indicted in October on charges including first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor, use of a minor in a sexual performance, distributing obscene content to a minor and six counts of first-degree sexual abuse. She has pleaded not guilty.
Court records indicate that the alleged victim, a 13-year-old male at the time, was one of her students at the W.E.B. DuBois Academy. JCPS reassigned Watts-Gordon to non-teaching duties on Nov. 20, 2019.
The letter, dated April 21, says W.E.B. DuBois Academy Principal Robert Gunn received multiple allegations in November 2019 and December 2019 regarding her conduct with two students and had planned to discuss those with Watts-Gordon at a due process meeting originally scheduled for March 4 but delayed until March 18, records obtained by WDRB News show.
Through her attorney, Steve Romines, Watts-Gordon waived her right to appear at the meeting, according to records provided by JCPS.
“We are looking forward to a jury hearing the full story including all of the evidence and are confident they will see that no criminal acts ever occurred,” Romines said in a Thursday email to WDRB News.
Gunn said in a written account of the due process meeting dated April 14 that allegations regarding Watts-Gordon’s conduct first came to his attention the week of Nov. 15, 2019, when a custodian saw her alone in a classroom with two students after school about an hour after students in the school’s art club were released. One of the students was face-to-face with Watts-Gordon while the other was standing close behind her, according to the due process form.
Gunn wrote that he directed Watts-Gordon at that point to refrain from contacting DuBois students and families.
A student was later found with Watts-Gordon’s district-issued iPad and seen deleting items, and the boy reported to Gunn that he had deleted Instagram and Snapchat applications from the device, Gunn said in the report.
Gunn found screenshots of a Snapchat conversation with the student and someone with the screen name “Bae,” who the boy identified as Watts-Gordon, on the iPad, according to the due process report. In one exchange included in records provided by JCPS, the student asks “Bae” to resend an image because he “didn’t get to jerk off to it.”
“Bae” later directed the student to, “Deactivate this account right now,” records show.
“Student 1 stated that Mrs. Watts-Gordon told him that she couldn’t wait until he was eighteen,” Gunn’s report says. “He stated that Mrs. Watts-Gordon touched his 'private part.' He also reported that Mrs. Watts-Gordon stated that she wanted to kiss him and at some point, asked him to send her a picture of his 'private.'"
The student later told his stepfather that Watts-Gordon continued contacting him on social media through an account under her daughter’s name, the due process report says.
The student, in a written statement provided by JCPS, said he had read about similar situations, “but I wouldn’t think it would happen to me.”
Gunn says in the report that a parent of a second student brought the boy’s phone to him in December 2019. The principal reported that he found text messages between that student and Watts-Gordon and an image of a woman wearing a zebra-print bra that the boy identified as Watts-Gordon.
That student said he also received a picture of Watts-Gordon with her breasts exposed but deleted it, Gunn reported. The report does not specify how the second student received those photos or the nature of his conversation with Watts-Gordon.
“Had Mrs. Watts-Gordon chosen to appear at the due process meeting, I would have asked Mrs. Watts-Gordon to respond to the information/allegations set forth below,” wrote Gunn, who recommended her termination. “For the screenshots, Snapchat message, and statement, I would have read those items verbatim to Mrs. Watts-Gordon.
Prosecutors allege in a November court filing in response to a discovery order that Watts-Gordon "committed several sex offenses with her student" from Aug. 25, 2019, until Nov. 19, 2019.
Jefferson County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Andrew Reinhardt accused Watts-Gordon in the filing of forcing the teen to touch her vagina, attempting to perform oral sex on him, touching his penis in a movie theater in October 2019, and exchanging "numerous" inappropriate pictures and videos with the student.
Watts-Gordon "sent photos and videos of her breasts and vagina, including a video of her masturbating," the court filing says. "In return, the Defendant asked for and received photos of the victim’s penis and videos of him masturbating."
Reinhardt says in the discovery response that Watts-Gordon deleted her Instagram account, erased her phone and directed the teen to delete his Snapchat account after learning of the police investigation.
The most severe charges against her are Class B felonies, which are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Watts-Gordon is no longer in custody after posting $10,000 bail, court records show. Her trial date is Nov. 2.
This story may be updated.
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