Teacher case moves to grand jury

RIPLEY – A teacher accused of an alleged relationship with a 15-year-old Wood County student had his case bound over to a Jackson County grand jury Wednesday.

Dustin “Dusty” Mullins of Ravenswood was in Jackson County Magistrate Court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.

Mullins, 22, was initially charged with use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor, solicitation of a minor via computer and two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony. County Prosecutor Kenny Skeen dropped three felony charges. Mullins faces a single felony count of solicitation of a minor via computer. If convicted Mullins faces 2-10 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. The next grand jury will convene Feb. 26.

Skeen said he can file additional charges if warranted.

“We are not precluded from bringing additional felony counts if that is what we deem necessary and appropriate,” he said.

Mullins, a Ravenswood native, was student teaching at Parkersburg South High School in Wood County when he met the victim. Mullins told Jackson County sheriff’s detectives the girl was a student in his class.

According to the criminal complaint, Mullins started communicating with the girl via Facebook, requesting nude photos. Sheriff’s deputies noted Mullins made several “inappropriate comments and requests.”

Mullins, himself, described the conversations as “wildly inappropriate,” according to the complaint.

The girl went to her parents after Mullins sent her Facebook messages asking for nude photos. The girl’s mother contacted the prevention resource officer at Ravenswood High School. The officer then relayed information to the sheriff’s department.

Mullins, who was working as a substitute teacher in the Jackson County school system, was arrested Jan. 3.

Mullins, a 2008 graduate of Ravenswood High School, was a standout basketball player. He is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,902 points and has the school’s career 3-point field goal record with 331. He averaged 19.8 points as a senior.

Mullins was a member of the Red Devils 2006 Class AA state championship team and was named captain of the 2008 Class AA All-state basketball team. He attended Glenville State College.

Mullins waived his preliminary hearing in front of Magistrate Jackie Casto.

Mullins, who is represented by attorney George Cosenza, remains free on bond.