Former teacher charged with sex with student - FOX 13 News

Former teacher charged with sex with student

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

Pinellas County Sheriff's Investigators arrested a 39-year-old former private school teacher Monday accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student.

Elisha Joy Kingsley was booked into Pinellas County Jail, charged with one count of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

She was a teacher at the Canterbury School of Florida when, investigators say, she and the 16-year-old started a relationship at the end of the 2013 - 2014 school year.

"Towards the end of the school year, she befriended a student. That led to various text messages between the two of them. They started text messaging around mid-June," Cristen Rensel, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said.

Investigators say the two used a phone application to text back and forth for weeks until they started meeting up for sex.

The sheriff's office would not describe the application.

"The two of them were having an inappropriate relationship, which led to a sexual encounter," Rensel said.

Those encounters, investigators say, started on July 5 at an undisclosed location in Pinellas County.

Through a tip, detectives identified Kingsley in late July and arrested her Monday.

Canterbury School of Florida officials would not answer specific questions about Kingsley's employment and sent this statement:

"This situation is deeply sad for us, because our students and their safety is our primary concern. We are aware of the arrest of a former employee. The teacher resigned before this information became available to us, however once we were made aware of the information we immediately reported the matter to DCF as required by law." 

- Mac Hall, Head of School, Canterbury School of Florida.

The investigation continues, and the sheriff's office urges parents to come forward if they suspect other suspicious behavior.

 

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