Former Central teacher gets probation for sexting student

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) -- A former substitute teacher at Central High School was sentenced Monday to four years of probation after pleading guilty to attempting to have sex with a 16-year-old girl, according to court documents.

Matthew Popick, 31

Matthew Popick, 31, was sentenced after pleading guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child and a misdemeanor count of attempted sexual assault. In addition to the four years of intensive sex offender probation, Popick will also have to complete 50 hours of community service.

Popick was a full-time substitute social studies teacher at Central at the time of the incident, according to Emily Shockley, spokesperson for District 51.

Police said Popick sent sexually explicit text messages to a 16-year-old girl, and invited her to his house to have sex while his wife was out of town.

"Popick was employed from January 12, 2016 to May 19, 2016 as a temporary substitute," said Shockley. "District 51 became aware of the investigation in June and has not offered him any employment since."

According to an arrest affidavit, Popick became friends with the girl. She said their conversations became sexual when she made a comment in front of Popick, saying “if school didn’t work out she could become a stripper.”

According to investigators, the girl said Popick heard this and told her he would watch her and she could practice on him.

Central High School students were unaware of the incident, but supportive of their classmate. They said it's hard to believe something like this happened.

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