JEROME COUNTY -- A substitute teacher is accused of sexually abusing two 15-year-old female students last summer. Investigators believe he met the girls in school and accuse him of inappropriate contact outside of school.

23-year-old Kenneth Howard Atencio was arrested last fall. His trial was initially set to begin this week, but it was pushed back to early June.

Atencio is charged with two counts of lewd conduct and two counts of sexual abuse. In one case, he's accused of talking to a girl via Facebook before meeting her in a corn field near her home and touching her inappropriately. In the other case, he's accused of text messaging a girl and asking her come to his home where they had sex.

The Jerome County Sheriff's Office couldn't comment specifically on this case, but a lieutenant gave general advice for parents in based on this type of situation involving social media and cell phones.

My advice to parents is basically the same advice I give my own family, which is I would not have a child that had a social media account that I didn't have complete access to, and then exercise that access on a regular basis so I understood whom and what my child was talking to and about, Lt. Daniel Kennedy, Jerome County Sheriff's Office, said.

Kennedy says keeping communication open is key for parents, especially when it comes to possible inappropriate contact with an authority figure, whom kids are taught to trust.

If you get the sense that someone in that position of authority, be it a teacher, a police officer, a coach, a counselor, whatever, has a little more knowledge or influence on what your child's doing than your comfortable with, then sit down and have an honest conversation with the child and say, 'Hey if there's something going on you're not comfortable with, it's okay to come and talk to me about it. And if not me, at least talk to somebody about it,' Kennedy said.

If parents have any suspicions about activity with their child, Kennedy says it's always best to get help early.

If they have any concern, quite frankly, in my profession I would rather take 100 calls from a concerned parent about an issue that doesn't really go anywhere than miss one that does, Kennedy said.

The Jerome County Sheriff's Office says there could be more victims in this case and ask anyone with possible information to call 208-735-1911.

KTVB was unable to reach the Jerome superintendent for more information on Atencio's substitute teaching history.

Atencio was released from jail in January on a $75,000 bond.

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