Southeast Middle assistant principal booked in nude photos exchange with 15-year-old _lowres

Edwin James Chastang

An assistant principal at Southeast Middle School was arrested Tuesday after admitting to investigators he sent nude pictures of himself via Facebook to a 15-year-old girl one night while he was drunk.

The admission by Edwin James Chastang, 42, comes about a month after the teen’s mother alerted police to the pictures on her daughter’s Facebook page, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The teen used to attend Southeast Middle School, 15000 S. Harrell’s Ferry Road, Baton Rouge, the affidavit says.

The mother found the pictures on June 28 after opening the Facebook app on her cellphone and seeing her daughter’s account was still logged in, the affidavit says. The mom looked around and found nude photos of Chastang as well as explicit conversations between the two.

When detectives talked to the girl three days later, she told them she and Chastang began having “sexually charged conversations” in May and soon began exchanging nude photos of each other, the affidavit says. She saved the photos and forwarded them to her email account.

The teen said she used her mother’s phone because she does not have one, the affidavit says.

Keith Bromery, spokesman for the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, said they were told of the arrest Tuesday and have suspended Chastang with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Bromery said they have not yet decided if they will appoint someone to the assistant principal position on a temporary basis until the investigation concludes. The school has two other assistant principals, one in charge of discipline and the other in charge of instruction.

“Since this just occurred, we’ll have to assess the situation and see what we’ll do down the road,” Bromery said.

School System Superintendent Bernard Taylor emailed board members Tuesday morning telling them of the arrest, board member Barbara Freiberg said.

“I think it’s very unfortunate because I know he did a good job at that school,” Freiberg said of Chastang.

She said she spent a lot of time at Southeast Middle and got to know Chastang professionally from those visits.

“Many of us are parents on the School Board and we want parents to understand we take this very seriously and we will do everything in the law to protect our students,” board member Craig Freeman said.

Chastang had been with the school system for more than a decade, Freeman said.

Chastang earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in education from Southern University in 1996 and 2004, respectively, according to the state Department of Education.

Chastang, 1007 Barrington Drive, Baker, was booked into Parish Prison on computer-aided solicitation of a minor. As of late Tuesday, he remained jail in lieu of a $20,000 bond, online prison records show.