Mulberry High School teacher arrested for sexual battery

- A teacher in Polk County faces sexual battery charges after an ongoing relationship with a 15-year-old student was discovered, according to the sheriff's office. 

The PCSO Special Victims Unit arrested 34-year-old Jason Argo of Valrico and charged him with three counts of sexual battery by custodian on victim between 12- and 18-years-old. Detectives said Argo and a teen female student engaged in sexual activity, which happened during the 2014-2015 school year at Mulberry High School.

"We're just disgusted by his actions," said Polk Co. Sheriff's Office spokesperson Carrie Horstman. "It's just inconceivable, it's disgusting. Hopefully there aren't any other victims out there."

According to the Polk County School Board, Argo has been an employee of Polk County Public Schools since August 16, 2010. He began his employment as an English teacher at Mulberry Middle. He became an English teacher at Mulberry High in July 2014.

"We are always disgusted and appalled when anyone in a position of authority over a child uses that authority to groom and sexually abuse a child. Jason Argo also brags that he is a military veteran, which to me is even more reason to be disgusted and appalled by his behavior," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

Meanwhile, students and staff weren't sure what to make of the allegations and the arrest. 

Student Michael Heckman said, "he doesn't seem the teacher to do that, and the way he cares about his students, I didn't think he'd ever do something like that." 

Argo was booked into the Polk County Jail Friday and held without bond until his first court appearance Saturday, May 21. PCSO said Argo does not have a criminal history.

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