Former Teacher Pleads Guilty

Sheppard apologizes before the court.
Sheppard apologizes before the court.

A former Low Country teacher, Philip Underwood Sheppard, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty today to exposing himself and performing lewd acts on a number of his students at two Beaufort County elementary schools.

The 45-year-old year old Sheppard pled guilty to a total of 19 charges, including 11 charges of indecent exposure, seven charges of lewd acts upon a child, and one charge for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. These acts occurred during his teaching career in Beaufort County, and one occurred  at Davis Elementary, the others at Coosa Elementary. The victims were boys ranging in age from six to 13.

Now a year after his arrest, he apologized to the victims and their families, saying, "I did everything in my own power because of the shame but was not able to do what was necessary to prevent these actions. I am most humbly and truly sorry for what I've done. I can only offer an apology for that."

Sgt. Brian Baird of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Department told us the families were satisfied, after realizing the plea bargain spared their children from testifying.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey,