A teacher sexually abused a student, say deputies in Hillsborough County, Florida. They identified the defendant as Jaime C. Melton, 42.
She taught English at Carrollwood Day School, authorities said. This is a private institution in the city of Tampa. Deputies did not release much information on the incident, except to say Melton had “sexual relations with the victim, a student, in September.”
Deputies said they developed probable cause on Saturday and got an arrest warrant on her. Authorities took Melton into custody on Sunday, online records show.
Sara Rubinstein, head of the Carrollwood Day School, acknowledged the arrest in a statement. She described Melton as a language arts teacher for 10th and 11th grades.
“As of right now, we have been informed that Ms. Melton has been charged with Sexual Battery, Child Over 12 but Less than 18, by a Person in Familial or Custodial Authority,” she wrote. “Due to the ongoing investigation, no further details will be released at this time. Ms. Melton has had an unblemished teaching record and we have not had any concerns about her conduct prior. Ms. Melton has been suspended from her position immediately.”
Melton remains held at the Hillsborough County Jail without bond. She has no attorney of record.
“This woman was a trusted member of this community who was responsible for the education and well-being of students, instead she violated that trust,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “As a parent, I am disgusted and hope she faces the full consequences of her actions.”
Deputies said this seemed to be an isolated incident, but they asked that anyone with more information to call them at (813) 247-8200.
Rubinstein, for her part, also acknowledged that the arrest might cause “stress and anxiety” in the community:
Student safety at CDS is our priority and all CDS faculty and staff go through mandatory training regarding child safeguarding and our responsibilities to communicate incidents of concern to authorities. We recognize the stress and anxiety this will cause many in our community. Our counselors are always available for students and families, and my door is always open.
As we work closely with the police and respect their confidentiality of the investigation, we will continue to keep you updated as this situation evolves, as best we can. Again, first and foremost, our priority is the safety of our students and the support we offer to our families.
[Booking photo via Jaime C. Melton]
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