A teacher was detained after sending obscene selfies to many children she is accused of grooming through internet gaming.
According to the local newspaper The Leader, Alissa McCommon, 38, of Tennessee, has been charged with child rape. More charges are expected, according to police.
Covington police chief Donna Turner told the paper that since the arrest, several kids have come forward to allege they were befriended by their former teacher, who began playing computer games with them before sending indecent images and asking sexual interactions.
The fourth grade English, language, and arts teacher (teaching pupils aged nine to ten) reportedly acknowledged to unlawfully contacting with previous students, and if convicted, she faces up to 25 years in prison.
According to the Leader, she is currently charged with a single count of child rape, which is defined in this case as unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or the defendant by a victim if the victim is between the ages of eight and thirteen.
Tipton County Sheriff’s Office detectives are collaborating with Covington police to interview witnesses and find additional potential victims.
“Covington Police Department detectives continue to investigate this terrible exploitation and abuse of these young boys,” said Chief Turner.
“We expect to also develop the investigation to determine accountability of other adults in the case, including those who were aware of the abuse, and those who allowed or provided locations for such illegal acts to occur.
“I am thankful for the continued assistance by Tipton County School officials during this investigation.
“I have also spoken with the US Attorney’s Office, and we intend to pursue any appropriate federal charges related to the sexual exploitation of these victims utilizing cellphones, inappropriate relations, and activities across jurisdictional State lines.
“We will prosecute this case to the fullest and will continue to support the victims and their families during all aspects of the investigation.”
According to the article, a photo of the suspended teacher being escorted in handcuffs was leaked to a Facebook group administrator on Friday, before news of an arrest was officially announced.
McCommon was legally lodged into the Tipton County Jail hours later and was suspended without pay on August 24 after the charges were submitted to the school board.
On Friday (September 8), Tipton County Schools issued a statement saying that their “thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who may have been affected by the events as outlined by law enforcement.”
“Although Ms. McCommon is currently suspended, the district’s dismissal of teachers is construed by statutory law,” it continued. “As a result, we will continue to engage our legal counsel and pursue employment decisions consistent with the requirements therein.”
McCommon was being held in custody at the Tipton County jail on a $25,000 bond. If she is released she is not to have contact with any minors but her own children.