Teacher indicted for sex crimes

Cannin

A seven-member grand jury delivered an indictment Tuesday against the Heppner teacher arrested on multiple sex crime charges. Morrow County Sheriff's Office arrested Wendy Cannin after investigating allegations of sexual contact between the 30-year-old and two male students, ages 15 and 17.

Morrow County District Attorney Elizabeth Ballard said Cannin remains in the Umatilla County Jail on $40,000 bail.

The grand jury, Ballard said, came back with six charges against Cannin:

? one count of third-degree rape, a Class C felony;

? one count of second-degree sexual abuse, a Class C felony;

? one count of third-degree sodomy, a Class C felony;

? two counts of third-degree sexual abuse, Class A misdemeanors;

? and one count of sexual misconduct, also a Class C misdemeanor.

None of the charges fall under the state's mandatory minimum guidelines of Measure 11.

"That's because of the age of the victims," Ballard said.

The district attorney explained had the victim been under 14, the charge of rape in the third degree would be elevated to rape in the second degree and would fall under Measure 11 guidelines.

Ballard said an investigation began after Heppner High School Principal Daye Stone heard some information about possible inappropriate contact.

"He felt it was the proper thing to do - to alert law enforcement," Ballard said.

A news release from the sheriff's office said Detective Karen Dike found the incidents began before the end of the last school year and continued through the middle of July. The incidents also reportedly occurred on and off school property, the news release said.

Cannin, who has taught at Heppner Junior/Senior High School, was placed on administrative leave last week by the Morrow County School District following the allegations of inappropriate contact with minors.

Cannin requested a court-appointed attorney. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10 at 8:15 a.m., at the Morrow County Courthouse in Heppner.

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