A Lake area educator charged with sexual misconduct has resigned his current position as his case works through the court system.

Climax Springs R-IV School Superintendent Nathan Barb confirmed that Joseph Perry Rice IV resigned last week from his position as principal for the small school. Rice had been on administrative leave since the end of February after being charged with misdemeanor second degree sexual misconduct in Miller County.

The district is now looking for a new principal to serve kindergarten through 12th grades.

Rice is charged over alleged actions related to a former student in Tuscumbia. The 35-year-old was a teacher at Miller County R-III School prior to coming to work at Climax Springs School as a principal. 

According to the probable cause statement filed earlier this year, a female juvenile victim reported a complaint to Miller County deputies about Rice on February 26, 2018. The alleged victim claimed Rice sent her inappropriate pictures via Snapchat and requested inappropriate pictures from her with communications between the two reportedly beginning on Snapchat in May 2017. After Rice allegedly asked her for sex, she broke off communications on the social media site. 

Rice was arrested February 27, 2018 and was later released on a $2,000 bond. 

The Miller County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in its investigation by the Missouri Department of Social Services, Kids Harbor, the Missouri State Technical Assistance Team (STAT) and the Camden County Sheriff’s Office.

A case review hearing has been scheduled before Judge Jon Arthur Kaltenbronn in Miller County Court on May 23. Motions for change of judge and change of venue have been filed by Rice’s attorney on his behalf.