A Haines High School math teacher was arrested and charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old student.
According to a news release from the Haines City Police Department, Jeremiah Stringer, 25, of Winter Haven faces one count of sexually assaulting a victim older than 12 but younger than 18, which is a felony of the first degree.
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An investigation into the allegations began after the girl’s father called 911 on Oct. 11 to report the incident after his daughter came home from school and told him she was upset about rumors of an incident circulating around the school about a relationship between her and a the teacher.
According to the release, the girl said Stringer met her in his classroom on Oct. 7, where they engaged in a sexual act. During an interview with detectives, Stringer said he exchanged messages on social media with the girl, but denied having sexual contact with the student.
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Detectives, however, said they were able to match DNA evidence found on the victim’s clothing to Stringer’s, the release said.
After Stringer’s arrest, Polk County Public Schools officials sent messages to parents of Haines City High School students alerting them to the alleged incident and asked anyone with additional information to come forward.
The statement added that Stringer has been terminated and is no longer working for the school district.
Paul Nutcher can be reached at [email protected].