Former Chaffee teacher makes first court appearance on sex-related charges involving a minor

Former Chaffee teacher makes first court appearance
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 10:50 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2023 at 2:38 PM CDT

CHAFFEE, Mo. (KFVS) - A former Chaffee R-2 School District teacher made his first court appearance on sexual-related charges involving a child on Thursday morning.

During the hearing, Mitchell J. Dirnberger’s attorney asked for a change of judge and a bond reduction hearing.

The change of judge was granted.

A new judge has not yet been assigned and a date has not been set for a bond reduction hearing.

Currently, Dirnberger is being held in the Mississippi County Jail without bond.

Dirnberger was arrested around 12 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, on sexual-related charges involving a child.

According to Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Donald Cobb, 29-year-old Mitchell J. Dirnberger is charged with promoting a sexual performance by a child, endangering the welfare of a child-first degree and sexual misconduct-second degree.

Charges were filed against Dirnberger on Tuesday, March 28.

Cobb said Dirnberger was a teacher in the Chaffee School District at the time of the alleged misconduct, but is no longer associated with the school system in any way.

According to court documents, Dirnberger had a sexual conversation through Snapchat messages with a 16-year-old girl during the early morning hours on Sunday, March 19.

Court papers state Dirnberger tried to convince the teenager to come to his house to “cuddle,” and the teen refused saying what he proposed is illegal. When the teenager refused, he said he was coming to get her regardless how she felt. That comment led to the felony child endangerment charge against Dirnberger.

Those records also indicate the messages were reported to Chaffee Junior/Senior High School Administration and the School Resource Officer on Friday, March 24.

According to the school district’s website, Dirnberger was an industrial technology teacher at the Jr./Sr. High.