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Polk County middle school teacher arrested for having sexual relations with minor, deputies say

Posted at 11:05 AM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 11:05:09-04

A Polk County middle school teacher was arrested after detectives say she had sexual relations with a minor at his sister's graduation party.

49-year-old Leslie Bushart, a teacher at Lake Gibson Middle School, was arrested Thursday as a result of the investigation.

During her arrest, she told detectives that she has been a teacher for 29 years.

The investigation began on June 16 after the boy’s parents notified the sheriff's office. They reported that the incident occurred on June 6 during a graduation party for the victim's older sister.

According to the arrest affidavit, Bushart told another person at that party that she had just performed oral sex on the teenage victim. That person then told the victim's mom. The mother confronted Bushart, who then quickly left the party.

Bushart later reached out to the victim’s mother via Facebook Messenger and tried to rationalize her behavior by saying she was drunk at the party, authorities say.

When detectives met with Bushart, she confessed to the crime. She told them that she and the boy walked away from the crowd together and she attempted to smoke marijuana, but was so drunk that she couldn't get it lit. At that point she began performing oral sex on the victim.

“Leslie Bushart victimized a teenage boy," Sheriff Grady Judd said. "She betrayed her profession, as well as her friends during what was supposed to be a very special day. There is technically one victim in this case, but the entire family and school community have suffered from this.”

She is charged with Lewd Battery (F-2).