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Ex-middle school teacher charged with sex abuse left country, prosecutors say

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Prosecutors say a former middle school teacher accused of child sex crimes violated court orders and went on a monthlong international trip earlier this year, according to court documents.

Last week, the state requested a hearing before 2nd Judicial District Judge Cindy Leos to discuss Kenneth Jehle’s conditions of release. A motion filed last month asks that Jehle be detained and ordered to surrender his passport.

In documents filed last month, prosecutor Caitlin Dillon contends that Border Patrol records show Jehle traveled to Hong Kong in late February and returned to the United States in late March.

Dillon also provided the court with an April Facebook post that suggests Jehle may have been in Thailand, which she said is often described as a “prime child sex tourist destination.”

Dillon has asked the court to compel the disclosure of Jehle’s Facebook records, saying that log-in IP addresses and corresponding GPS locations would be the best way to determine whether he was actually there.

International travel, Dillon said, is “a clear violation” of Jehle’s conditions of release.

Jehle’s attorney, Stephen Lane, did not respond to a request for comment on the allegations.

The former middle school teacher is facing 10 counts in the case, including child abuse, criminal sexual contact and sexual exploitation of a child. The charges involve a former student and a female relative.

Jehle’s first trial will deal with allegations involving the student and is set for the end of July. A second trial to address allegations involving the relative is scheduled for late August.

In October 2016, the court agreed to allow Jehle to live in Michigan, where he is caring for his father.

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