Cross High teacher charged with sexual battery of students

      BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) -- A Cross High School teacher has been charged with sexual battery of three students.Berkeley County Sheriff's Office officials said 29-year-old Ellen Lindsay Niemiec, of Summerville, turner herself in at the sheriff's office Thursday afternoon.Officials said that there are three student victims leading to two felony and one misdemeanor charges because of their ages. The sheriff's office said the misconduct had been going on for several weeks.Niemiec is married with three children, according to her attorney David Aylor.Mike Bosnak, who is an attorney representing all three victims, said some of the inappropriate behavior took place in the classroom."It started with dirty talk, then they were texting. She was texting nude pictures and that kind of stuff. Then just from there, it just went on. Some of it took place at the school. She also was picking one of them up in the morning and had sex with him in the morning and then in the afternoon," Bosnak said.According to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, deputies began the investigation after getting notice from the district late last month. The sheriff's office said the district has placed the teacher on administrative leave until the investigation is over.

      Detective Brian Fenton with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office talked about the emotional impact the episode had on the small community of Cross.

      "When a teacher violates a student's trust, she essentially violates the whole community's trust," Fenton said.

      Aylor said his client is innocent and that the sheriff's office had not provided much evidence thus far.

      "She feels for the Cross community that this situation has occurred. She is saddened for anybody affected including her own family and any alleged victims," Aylor said.

      School district officials said the suspension happened as soon as the district learned of the allegations. Niemiec told the judge she resigned from her position at the high school.