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Former teacher on probation for sex crimes

by Maggie Crane

KMOV.com

Posted on September 16, 2010 at 10:49 PM

A former Bayless gym teacher is on probation for online sex chats with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl.  "She" turned out to be an undercover investigator.

Neil Swyres will also get "shock time" in jail, and it won't cost taxpayers a dime.  Swyres will essentially pay for room and board at the St. Charles County Jail for 120 days.  He'll be able to leave only to go to work.

Swyres pleaded guilty to attempted use of a child in a sexual performance and attempted sexual misconduct involving a child.  Police say he exposed himself online to who he thought was a 14-year-old girl and tried to set up a meeting with her.

The Cyber Crimes Unit in the St. Charles County Sheriff's Office set Swyres up in a sting operation.  When he was busted in 2009, Swyres was teaching third through six grade students in the Bayless School District.  He resigned and says he no longer has a teaching license.

Swyres is married and has a child.  He also had no criminal background until now.

"We've done investigations where we've caught somebody trying to meet up with somebody online or trading child pornography, and they have told us that had we not stepped in, it probably would have gone further and actually harmed a child at some point," Lt. Chris Mateja, Cyber Crimes Unit at the St. Charles County Sheriff's Office, says.

Investigators do not believe that Swyres used school computers, and the Cyber Crime detectives have no reason to believe anything happened with children at school.

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