Palm Harbor teacher arrested for rape of former student

- A teacher has been arrested on accusations that he raped a 16-year-old student back in 2009, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

The investigation started on November 11, 2017, when the victim, now 24, told a school official of the inappropriate sexual contact with the man, who is now a teacher at Palm Harbor University High School.

Investigators say 43-year-old Matthew Pinder was a teacher at Calvary Christian High School at the time of the alleged crime. The victim was 16 and a student at Calvary Christian.

Detectives say Pinder was arrested Wednesday, January 24, 2018, and admitted to having inappropriate sexual activity with the victim on at least two occasions.

He has been charged with one count of sexual battery (custodial authority). Before he was taken to jail, Pinder resigned from his teaching job at Palm Harbor University High School.

Detectives say there may be more victims and ask anyone with information to please contact Detective Meredith Dimundo with the Crimes against Children's Unit at 727-582-6200.

Pinder has been employed at the following schools:

-Indian Rocks Christian School 2000 to 2002

-Calvary Christian High School from 2002 to 2004 and 2009-2011

-Palm Harbor University High School from 2011 to 2018

Pinder told detectives he also volunteers as a Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout Troop and is the Den Leader for a Cub Scout Pack in Pinellas County.

Detectives have notified the respective Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack. Pinder is no longer a volunteer with the respective organizations.

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