A former Sylvania, Alabama, high school teacher is being held without bond amid allegations he illegally enticed a child and disseminated obscene material, according to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office in Fort Payne.
Dustin Wade Dalton, 28, of Rainsville, Alabama, is charged with enticing a child for immoral purposes and dissemination of obscene material, according to sheriff's office spokesperson Tyler Pruett. Jail records show Dalton was booked on the charges about 7 p.m. CDT Monday.
Dalton is being held without bond as the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office looks into whether there are similar allegations.
Pruett said in a statement issued late Monday that the sheriff's office, the DeKalb County Board of Education and the Alabama Department of Human Resources are working jointly on the investigation.
"Due to the fact that this is still very early in the investigation, more charges may be added at a later date," Pruett said. "We'll provide updates on additional charges as the investigation unfolds."
Sheriff Nick Welden thanked community members and called for prayers for those involved.
"This is an absolute unfortunate event that has happened in our quiet town of Sylvania," Welden said in the statement. "We want to thank the community for coming forward with information that aided us in conducting this investigation.
"Protecting our youth from this type of behavior is a top priority here at the sheriff's office," the sheriff said.
DeKalb County Superintendent of Schools Jason Barnett issued a statement Monday on the arrest and allegations raised to school officials Friday.
"[T]he administration of Sylvania High School and I began an internal investigation following an allegation of inappropriate behavior by a teacher at Sylvania High School," Barnett said in the statement.
Barnett said Dalton is no longer employed with the school system.
"All information gathered as a result of the investigation has been shared with the local authorities," Barnett said. "The DeKalb County Board of Education will fully cooperate with local authorities as needed."
Meanwhile, investigators urge anyone with information about the current case or anyone who feels they have been involved in similar incidents to call the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office at 256-845-3801.
Contact Ben Benton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.