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Hillsborough County teacher arrested for sending student explicit messages, sheriff says

Posted at 9:06 AM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 17:34:56-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says a middle school teacher is facing charges for sending explicit messages to a student.

Deputies say the investigation into James Michaud, 28, started on September 12 after the 13-year-old victim's parents filed a complaint.

According to authorities, the Greco Middle School AVID teacher sent the victim explicit messages several times through social media. He turned himself in on Tuesday.

"It's sickening to know an adult, entrusted to educate & mentor our children, abused his position to prey on this young victim," Sheriff Chad Chronister said. "We are thankful for the victim’s parents who spoke up & possibly prevented other students from being taken advantage of."

The sheriff's office says there's evidence Michaud also sent explicit messages to other minors.

Detectives are urging any other students who may be victims or anyone with information relevant to this case to call the sheriff's office (813) 247-8200.

“We are shocked and deeply disappointed by these allegations," the school district said. "Parents put their trust in this individual and he broke that trust. We are grateful for the student who had the courage to come forward so that deputies could investigate. He has resigned his position with the district.”

Michaud charges include unlawful use of a two-way communication device, transmission of harmful material to a minor and authority figure soliciting or engaging in lewd conduct with a student, according to online records.