By LISA BICKNELL
CV&T News Editor
The Estill County community was rocked last week by news of another scandal involving an employee of the school system.
Two people were arrested following an investigation that began after Superintendent Jeffrey Saylor received a call on April 1 stating that there were rumors circulating that a high school teacher had been having inappropriate interactions with students.
After interviews with some staff, students and their parents, the Kentucky State Police were called and a detective was assigned to the case.
On Wednesday, April 3, KSP Trooper Brashear was dispatched to Estill County High School following a complaint that Torstein Torsteinson, (an immigrant from Honduras in the United States on a work visa) had been communicating via Facebook Messenger with an underage female student for the purpose of arranging sex with her.
An investigation determined that in September of 2018, Torsteinson contacted the girl but was unsuccessful in his attempt.
According to an arrest citation, Torsteinson later made contact with the juvenile while in a relationship with teacher Sherry Murphy at the Estill County High School. She allegedly knew of the communication but did not report it.
Torsteinson allegedly told the female he had contacted to delete messages between them in an attempt to destroy evidence of their communication.
Torstein was arrested Wednesday and lodged in the Three Forks Detention Center in Beattyville. He was charged with unlawful transaction with a minor and tampering with physical evidence.
Murphy was charged on Thursday, April 4 following further investigation determining that Murphy knew of at least three other female students who had been contacted by Torsteinson, but she did not report it.
While the investigation was being conducted, Murphy allegedly deleted conversations between herself and Torsteinson in an attempt to conceal information from the Kentucky State Police.
Murphy had been absent from work on medical leave following an injury that caused a back fracture. Due to the injury, she was determined not to be physically able to be lodged at Three Forks Detention Center.
Murphy was charged with unlawful transaction with a minor, tampering with physical evidence, and failure to report neglect or abuse of a child. She was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond, with home incarceration and a court date of April 24th, 2019 set by order of Judge Bo Leach.