WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — A Haines City High School teacher has been arrested after sexually explicit conversations and photos were sent to a 15-year-old Texas boy.
On November 18, 2017, 27-year-old Robin Dunlap, of Winter Haven, voluntarily went to the Winter Haven Police Department to turn herself in for sending nude photos to a 15-year-old boy in Texas.
She stated that she sent the nude photos before she learned of his real age. The boy had told her that he was 19-year-old throughout the conversations the two had over Xbox One. The conversations moved to communicating through Kik via text and video chat on their cell phones.
The mother of the victim checked her son's phone and realizing what was happening contacted Dunlap through the same phone and informed her that her son was 15-years-old, not 19.
That's when Dunlap chose to turn herself in. But police say it didn't stop there.
On October 29, 2017, Winter Haven detectives received information from the victim's father that Dunlap continued to have conversations with the victim through Google Hangout. Working with investigators in Texas, Winter Haven detectives received confirmation from the cell phone of the victim that multiple conversations continued after Dunlap was aware of the victim's age.
27 yr-old Haines City HS teacher faces felony charges after continuing to send sexually explicit conversations to a 15 year-old Texas boy after she admitted to police she knew his real age. https://t.co/RqDsJhcDPR pic.twitter.com/jiLukbit86
— Winter Haven Police (@WHPoliceDept) December 19, 2017
Based on the information received that Dunlap continued to have conversations with the victim, detectives met with Dunlap at her home on December 17, confronting her with information about the ongoing contact with the victim.
Dunlap didn't deny and in fact, told investigators that she continued to speak to the victim because "he is the only person that she can talk to and the only one who understands her", according to Winter Haven Police.
Dunlap gave investigators consent to look at her phones and a conversation was found that started on November 26 and continued through December 11. Police say that the conversation slowly progressed to extremely vulgar with sexually explicit language.
Based on the fact that she knew the age of the victim, yet continued to have sexually explicit conversations with the 15-year-old, Dunlap was taken into custody and booked into the Polk County Jail on charges of Transmitting Material Harmful to Minor and Using 2-Way Communication
Device to Commit a Felony.
"There is absolutely no excuse for an adult - especially a high school teacher - to continue sexually explicit conversations with a 15-year-old long after his real age is revealed," said Chief Charlie Bird. "The vulnerable age of this victim and the fact that this woman took advantage of him for her own personal needs is inexcusable."
A judge set a $50,000 bond for Dunlap at her first appearance Tuesday morning in Polk County.
Dunlap will be represented by a public defender, per her wishes.
Following Dunlap's arrest, Polk County Public Schools released the following statement:
Robin Dunlap was working as a physics teacher at Haines City High School International Baccalaureate.
The district’s Human Resources department has been conducting an internal investigation on this employee since October. She was placed on administrative leave Oct. 3, and was later reassigned to our facility at the Bartow Airbase pending the resolution of the criminal investigation. There is no past disciplinary action in her personnel file.
"Our first priority must be the safety of our students,” said Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd. “We immediately took this teacher out of the classroom when these allegations surfaced and began our internal investigation. As educators, we are held to the highest of standards, and we must do everything in our power to protect children. This type of conduct runs contrary to that mission, and is disgusting and indefensible. I have instructed my HR staff to immediately begin the process of termination. We will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement."