PRESTON, Idaho -- A teacher at Preston Junior High who fed a puppy to a snapping turtle as students watched has been charged with a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.

The charge against science teacher Robert Crosland was filed in Franklin County Friday, nearly three months after the incident that sparked uproar across Idaho and beyond.

MORE: Idaho teacher feeds puppy to turtle in front of students; investigation underway

Preston School District 201 Superintendent Marc Gee called Crosland's actions “a regrettable circumstance," but noted that the puppy was fed to the turtle after school hours. The Idaho Attorney General's Office stepped in to investigate in March.

As the story gained nationwide attention, online petitions for Crosland to be fired or charged criminally gained thousands of signatures. Others in Preston defended the teacher, praising him as a dedicated educator.

The snapping turtle involved was later seized and euthanized by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game as a non-native species.

Crosland's first court date in the case has not yet been set.

Misdemeanor animal cruelty is punishable on the first offense by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.