HomeTop StoriesLexington Catholic fires teacher accused of prostitution in West Virginia

Lexington Catholic fires teacher accused of prostitution in West Virginia

Officials at Lexington Catholic High School have fired a teacher who did not report an arrest, the Catholic Diocese of Lexington said Saturday.

“Robert Pennington was hired by Lexington Catholic High School on August 1, 2023. During his application process, he failed to record his tenure at Charleston West Virginia Catholic High School and failed to disclose his arrest,” Edward Bauer, director of communications for the Catholic Diocese of Lexington, said in a statement Saturday.

Pennington was charged in March with soliciting prostitution, Charleston television station WCHS reported.

Charleston, West Virginia Municipal Court records show the next court hearing for the Pennington case is scheduled for December 20.

Pennington, then a teacher at Charleston Catholic High School and Blessed Sacrament Church, was suspended on March 17 over the allegation, WOWK reported.

According to a criminal complaint, WOWK said, Robert Charles Pennington gave an undercover detective money for sex.

WCHS reported that the complaint said the incident occurred on March 9 in Kanawha County and was the result of an “undercover prostitution operation.”

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The Diocese of Lexington said in its statement Saturday that Pennington “was never charged with a crime” but was cited by Charleston police. Bauer did not immediately respond to requests for clarification, and Charleston police officials did not immediately comment Saturday.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston told WCHS at the time that “Mr. Pennington has been suspended from his duties at Charleston Catholic High School and Blessed Sacrament Church pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation into adult conduct by civil authorities. Because the investigation is still ongoing, neither Charleston Catholic High School nor the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston can comment further on the investigation.”

Lexington Catholic’s website listed Bob Pennington as director of spiritual life/religious teacher.

“When this information was discovered by the Lexington Catholic High School administration, they acted quickly to investigate the situation and terminated his employment,” Bauer said. “We regret that this situation has occurred. We want to reassure parents, students and alumni of Lexington Catholic High School that the safety and well-being of our students is a primary concern.”

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