An employee at Lincoln Memorial Middle School in Palmetto has been charged with impregnating a child.
According to Palmetto Police, Lamont Houston, 31, is charged with sexual battery of a child between ages 12 and 18. He is also charged with lewd and lascivious molestation and impregnating a child under the age of 16.
Houston served as a Graduation Enhancement Technician at Lincoln Middle School, according to the Manatee County School District. The school created that position to help students who are absent a lot get back into school.
Houston was hired as a Teacher’s Assistant in 2014.
Action News has learned Houston also served as a junior varsity basketball coach last year.
People who know Houston said he was popular and eager to help struggling students.
"He was a good guy," said Jed Baublitz, who attended Lincoln Memorial Middle School last year. "He'd tell me to get my grades up if I was slacking. I would have never though he would do something like this."
According to a police affidavit, Houston and the 14-year-old victim started a "casual" relationship at the end of the school year. The two started text messaging and in June he picked her up without her parent's knowledge.
The report states the two had sex in Houston's car. Police say several weeks later, Houston picked up the victim again, drove around for a while before pulling over in a secluded parking lot to have sex.
Both encounters happened off school property. The victim told a family member what happened after she got pregnant.
The school district learned of the incidents Thursday and immediately notified police.
District officials released the following statement:
"The employee was immediately removed from the school and any contact with students. On Friday, Mr. Houston resigned and agreed not to seek any reemployment with the District."
Houston is in custody at the Manatee County jail. A judge issued a $55,000 bond Friday under the orders that if he posts bond, Houston is banned from contacting the victim.