Former Region 8 Teacher in Home Detention Pending Sex Trial

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A former Melbourne High School teacher will be placed under house arrest and electronically monitored while awaiting trial on charges he took students across state lines to engage in sexual acts.

Steven D. Mitchell, 32, of Pineville, faces 12 counts involving sexual misconduct with students.  He pleaded not guilty to the charges late last month in federal court and appealed a judge's ruling that he remain in jail until his trial.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes ruled last week that Mitchell could remain at home.  Holmes' ruling banned Mitchell from drinking and ordered him to continue mental health counseling.

Police allege Mitchell, an agricultural teacher at Melbourne High School from 2002 to 2004, took seven underage children out of state and touched them or encouraged them to expose themselves.  Court documents show Mitchell took the children on trips to Kentucky, Texas and Georgia.

The federal charges Mitchell now faces are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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