McMinn County School District rocked by high school sex scandal

38-year-old Melissa Blair of Englewood indicted on 18 counts of statutory rape

For the second time in five days, the McMinn County School District becomes the center of the news universe again. This time due to a scandal that has rocked the district.

McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy announced this afternoon that 38-year-old Melissa Blair of Englewood has been indicted on several counts of the statutory rape of nine students at McMinn Central High School. One of the investigating officers told me it was social media that uncovered most of the details that led to her indictment.

According to the sheriff, there was an anonymous email sent to the school district on December 9th. The two-month investigation uncovered that Blair reportedly traded items in exchange for sex with her.

Blair had a child who was a student at McMinn Central, but has since transferred. No word whether that child knew any of the victims.

Police believe there are more child victims of Blair, and urge them to come forward. The school district has already taken action in the hopes that this never happens again.

McMinn County Director of Schools Lee Parkison said, “Safety is number one. We just … this past board meeting this past Thursday night dedicated a new position to safety. A supervisor. And that will fall, of course, in that job description.”

Blair faces a litany of charges: 18 counts of statutory rape; four counts of human trafficking by patronizing prostitution and one count of soliciting a minor. The person in charge of making sure all documents and evidence are processed correctly told me there are a lot more details that won’t be made public because they are very disturbing – far more than we already know.

All in all, it’s been a rough five days for the school district: the ‘Maus’ protest on Thursday and now this indictment. I asked how the district is handling all the negative publicity.

“It would be a lot better if it was better publicity, for sure. It just comes with the territory When you’re dealing with kids and families and communities, it’s just a part of it. It’s part of the job. We just happened to hit these rough spots pretty close together.”

Blair is free after posting a $100,000 bond. She is due in court for her arraignment as early as Tuesday morning.

Categories: Crime, Featured, Local News, McMinn County

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