A teacher has been arrested after sending sordid selfies to multiple students she's alleged to have groomed through online gaming.
Alissa McCommon, 38, from Tennessee, US, has been charged with rape of a child according to local paper The Leader. Police say more charges are expected.
Covington police chief Donna Turner told the paper multiple juveniles have come forward since the arrest to say they were befriended by their former teacher who began playing video games with them before sending inappropriate photographs and requesting sexual relations.
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The fourth grade English, language and arts teacher (teaching students aged nine to 10) has reportedly admitted to communicating inappropriately with former students and if convicted she could face 25 years in prison.
The Leader reports she is currently charged with a single rape of a child, which is defined in this case as unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or the defendant by a victim, if the victim is between eight and 13-years-old.
Detectives from the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office are working with Covington detectives to interview witnesses and identify further possible victims.
Police chief Turner said: “Covington Police Department detectives continue to investigate this terrible exploitation and abuse of these young boys.
“We expect to also develop the investigation to determine accountability of other adults in the case, including those who were aware of the abuse, and those who allowed or provided locations for such illegal acts to occur.
"I am thankful for the continued assistance by Tipton County School officials during this investigation.
“I have also spoken with the US Attorney’s Office, and we intend to pursue any appropriate federal charges related to the sexual exploitation of these victims utilizing cellphones, inappropriate relations, and activities across jurisdictional State lines.
"We will prosecute this case to the fullest and will continue to support the victims and their families during all aspects of the investigation.”
The paper said on Friday a photo showing the suspended teacher being led in handcuffs was leaked to a Facebook group administrator before news of an arrest had been officially reported.
McCommon was formally booked into the Tipton County Jail hours later and was suspended without pay after the allegations were reported to the school board on August 24.
Tipton County Schools provided a statement on Friday (September 8) saying their “thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who may have been affected by the events as outlined by law enforcement”.
“Although Ms. McCommon is currently suspended, the district’s dismissal of teachers is construed by statutory law," it continued. "As a result, we will continue to engage our legal counsel and pursue employment decisions consistent with the requirements therein.”
McCommon was being held in custody at the Tipton County jail on a $25,000 bond. If she is released she is not to have contact with any minors but her own children.
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