Jefferson County teacher accused of sex with students

By Hans Fogle
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Jefferson County teacher faces charges after allegations that he had sexual relations with two female students.

Jefferson County Schools reports Joel Ziler, 29, was charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child by a parent, guardian or custodian, and one count of solicitation of a minor by computer.

Jefferson County Sheriff Pete Daugherty said the accusations against Ziler came about due to an investigation conducted by his office into the death of Jefferson County High School drama teacher Steve Glendenning.

“We found some activity that we believe was suspicious, Daugherty said. “That led to Mr. Ziler being a focus of interest.”

Daugherty said the West Virginia State Police completed the investigation.

Ziler submitted his resignation, but it was not accepted.

Daugherty said it was a way to prevent Ziler from potentially keeping his teaching license.

“If he had resigned and criminal charges had not been brought, he would have been able to go o and teach somewhere else,” Daugherty said.

Glendenning was not implicated in any illegal activity, according to Daugherty.

If convicted, Ziler faces 10 to 20 years in prison on each of the sexual abuse charges, and 2 to 10 years for the solicitation charge.

He is free on $80,000 bond.