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Carlisle teacher pleads not guilty

BY KAT RUSSELL krussell@paducahsun.com

A former Carlisle County teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning in Carlisle District Court.

Zachary J. Sims, 29, of Hickory, is charged with unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual activity, tampering with physical evidence and first-degree official misconduct.

The charges stem from an investigation that began March 11 with an anonymous tip that indicated Sims was inappropriately involved with a 17-year-old student.

Police said they uncovered evidence that Sims and the student had exchanged sexually explicit messages over the course of several months.

A warrant for Sims' arrest was issued April 3, and Sims turned himself in to Ballard County authorities the following day. Jail personnel in Ballard County said Sims bonded out a short time later.

Sims is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing May 10.

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