published Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Bradley County teacher surrenders to police on sex charges with students

Bradley Central High School teacher Richard Kyle Copeland, 33, surrendered to police Tuesday morning on charges stemming from allegations of inappropriate relationships with students while he was an assistant coach and teacher at the school.

School administrators had placed Copeland on suspension, pending completion of the investigation, after a female student contacted the Bradley County Sheriff's Office in early September with details of an inappropriate relationship with Copeland.

According to a news release, three other students were identified in the two months after that as having similar allegations against Copeland.

The county grand jury charged Copeland with four counts of solicitation of a minor for statutory rape by an authority figure, and three counts of solicitation of a minor for sexual exploitation of a minor.

All of the charges are felonies.

Copeland surrendered at the Bradley County Jail and was released on a $20,000 bond, according to the release.

Contact staff writer Jeff LaFave at jlafave@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.

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