Ex-teacher admits to hugging, kissing 12-year-old student

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MCKEESPORT, Pa. (AP) — A former western Pennsylvania teacher has admitted to hugging and kissing a 12-year-old student in his classroom.

Twenty-three-year-old Cole McLaughlin pleaded guilty Monday to institutional sexual assault and endangering a minor. Prosecutors say the girl's father went to police after discovering messages in the girl's phone from the former South Allegheny Middle School teacher.

He'll be sentenced on Feb. 16.

McLaughlin is contesting charges in a separate case that he sent photos of himself naked to a 17-year-old student. He's scheduled to go to trial in that case Feb. 8.

Defense attorney John Egers Jr. attempted to have his client's statement to police and evidence on his cellphone thrown out. He says McLaughlin didn't feel he was free to leave police headquarters. But the judge refused to suppress the evidence.

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