A 24-year-old high school teacher in North Dakota is accused of sending nude pictures of herself to a 17-year-old student on the social media photo-sharing app Snapchat, police say. Kelsie Schmidt was arrested on felony charges in January 2019, according to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.
Kelsie Schmidt worked at Beulah High School in her North Dakota hometown, authorities said. Schmidt was arrested January 22 and has resigned from her teaching position with the school, the Dickinson Press reports. She admitted to sending the nude selfies, including a topless photo, to the student, police said.
Tom Dickson, her attorney, told the Dickinson Press, “This is a very unfortunate situation for everyone, but certainly it’s a very serious allegation and we are treating it very seriously.” Schmidt was released from custody after posting bail.
Here’s what you need to know about Kelsie Schmidt:
1. Schmidt Is Accused of Sending 4 Nude Photos, Including One Exposing Her Breasts, & One With the Message ‘Get a Group & Play Naked Hide & Seek’
Kelsie Schmidt admitted to sending the inappropriate photos to a 17-year-old student when interviewed by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the Dickinson Press reports. Investigators say the messages were sent in August and September.
According to court documents, one of the photos showed Schmidt from the waist up. She was topless with her hair somewhat covering her breasts, the Press reports. Another photo showed her legs with the message, “Get a group and play naked hide and seek,” the sheriff’s office said.
2. Police Began Investigating After the Student Made a Comment That a Math Teacher Could ‘Get in Trouble’ for Photos She Sent Him
The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office began investigating in the days before Schmidt’s arrest after the 17-year-old boy was overheard making a comment, “that he could get the math teacher in trouble for pictures that she had sent him,” the Bismarck Tribune reports.
Schmidt was interviewed by detectives and admitted to sending the photos to the student, the newspaper reports. She was arrested on January 22, online jail records show.
3. Schmidt Was in Her First Year Teaching Math at Beulah High School & the District Is Investigating Whether Photos Were Sent to Any Other Students
Schmidt was in her first year teaching math at Beulah High School, according to KFYR-TV. She resigned from her position at the school on January 25 and the school board accepted her resignation, the news station reports.
Beulah School Superintendent Travis Jordan told the Dickinson Press that an internal investigation into the incident is ongoing. He declined to comment on whether additional students were sent photos, citing the ongoing investigation, the newspaper reports.
According to her Facebook page, Schmidt was a substitute teacher in Beulah in 2017-2018 and was hoping for a full-time teaching job. She was then hired by the school district for the 2018-2019 school year, teaching math at the high school.
4. She Is a Beulah Native & Attended the University of Mary
Kelsie Laura Schmidt is a Beulah, North Dakota, native, according to her Facebook page. She has two siblings, a sister and a brother, along with her parents, her Facebook page shows. She is a member of the Concordia Lutheran Church in Beulah.
Schmidt’s Facebook page shows she studied at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. While she was at Beulah High School, Schmidt was a member of the volleyball and softball teams. She graduated in 2013 from the Beulah school where she would later work.
Schmidt, who has also worked at Fanatics Sports Bar and Grill, could not be reached for comment by Heavy. Her family has also not commented about her arrest. Schmidt does not appear to have a previous criminal record in North Dakota, outside of a traffic violation.
5. Schmidt, Who Faces Up to 5 Years in Prison if Convicted, Remains Free on 10 Percent of $10,000 Bail & Is Scheduled to Return to Court on February 27
Kelsie Schmidt faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the felony charge of luring minors by electronic means, according to North Dakota state law. She could also be fined up to $5,000 if she is found guilty of the class C felony.
According to state law, “an adult is guilty of luring minors by computer or other electronic means when: the adult knows the character and content of a communication, implicitly or explicitly discusses or depicts actual or simulated nudity, sexual acts, sexual contact, sadomasochistic abuse, or other sexual performances and uses any computer communication system or other electronic means to initiate or engage in such communications with a minor; and/or by means of that communication the adult importunes, invites, or induces a minor to engage in sexual acts or to have sexual contact with the adult, or to engage in a sexual performance, obscene sexual performance, or sexual conduct for the adult’s benefit, satisfaction, lust, passions, or sexual desires if the offender is an adult who is 22 years of age or older and reasonably believes that the minor is age 15-17.”
Schmidt could also have to register as a sex offender if she is convicted.
Schmidt appeared in court on January 22 for an initial appearance, court records show. She was released from custody after posting 10 percent of $10,000 bail, according to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.
She is barred from leaving the state of North Dakota, having contact with minors and is not allowed to use the internet or social media while she is free on bond, according to court records. Schmidt is scheduled to return to the Mercer County Courthouse on February 27 for a preliminary hearing.