A Manatee County teacher was arrested Monday morning and charged for allegedly having sex multiple times in a park with a 15-year-old student, according to the Bradenton Police Department.
The 31-year-old Bradenton woman was taken into custody by BPD and charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious battery and one count of transmission of harmful material to a minor.
Police are accusing her of being a sexual predator.
The alleged issue was first brought to the attention of Bradenton Police on April 10, 2019 when they were informed of a complaint from the private K-12 school where the woman had been employed as a teacher.
A detective responded to the school and was apparently presented with a printed copy of text message conversations between the teacher and a 15-year-old student. The messages, sent through Instagram chat, were of a flirtatious manner.
Police claim she was a friendly teacher, which led to her being liked by students.
The student in question cooperated with investigators and allegedly showed police several screenshots of lewd, selfie-style photographs the teacher had sent him, wearing lingerie and had her body parts exposed and posed in a sexual manner.
The student also told the detective that he and the teacher arranged to meet at G.T. Bray Park on numerous occasions and engaged in sexual intercourse.
The investigation also apparently revealed that the teacher attempted to retain assistance from another teacher at the school to serve as an alibi for her actions.
She is also accused of contacting a former student to see if it was possible to delete messages and images from another person’s password-locked cell phone.
The former student believes she came to him because she knew he worked at an electronics retailer.
Statement from school
In response to the woman’s arrest and the charges filed against her, the school issued the following statement:
“Our students and families are our top priority and we are deeply saddened by these allegations. Once we were notified of the allegations, we immediately reported them to the appropriate authorities and the teacher was terminated.
All employees of CES are thoroughly vetted and complete a thorough FDLE background screening prior to employment. We take these allegations very seriously and are doing everything we can to facilitate the investigation.
In order to protect the privacy of our students and their families and to maintain the integrity of the ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide further comment at this time.”
This is an on-going investigation, according to police.
When the media catches wind of a teacher accused of having sex with a student, the public is quick to judge and jump to conclusions. Just because someone is accused of having an innapropriate relationship with a student, does not necessarily mean they are guilty. Anyone can be accused of a sex crime, including male and female teachers. In the state of Florida, it is a criminal offense for a person in a position of authority, such as a public or private school teacher, to have sexual contact with a student.
Educators accused of sex crimes face serious ramifications if they are found guilty of committing the alleged act(s) in question. While allegations of criminal sexual activity are damaging for anyone, for teachers, principals, guidance counselors, and school coaches, they can be especially devastating. Any sex crimes accusation will result in the immediate suspension of the person’s teaching license and may or may not result in an immediate suspension or termination of his or her position as a teacher.
Obviously there is a lot at stake when accusations of a sexual relationship between a teacher and student arise. It is without a doubt paramount to the outcome of your case that you must be able to trust that your sex crimes defense attorney will do everything in their power to provide you with an aggressive defense of your rights, your career and your future. If you are an educator and you have been charged with a sex crime, you have no other option but to defend yourself and your career. Our Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have decades of experience defending clients accused of sexual offenses, and we can help. We can provide you with an aggressive and effective defense.
As former prosecutor’s, we understand the severity and urgency of the situation and will begin working right away to mount a strong defense to protect you from the criminal charges, help you avoid having to register for the rest of your life as a sex offender and all the challenges that entails, as well as protect your career as an educator from being ruined. Gathering evidence in these types of cases can be a difficult and emotionally charged task, but we will do everything we can to secure the best possible outcome on your behalf.
This firm was extremely helpful and courteous to deal with. I did not expect to need their services, but was fortunate to find such a great firm. Thank you for your services. Emily Stafford
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