Ruskin teacher arrested for sex with student, deputies say

- A Hillsborough County teacher was arrested for having sex with a student, deputies said.

On Wednesday afternoon, the 17-year-old victim went to Caroline Lawson’s home in Tampa where the pair has consensual, unprotected sex, according to Hillsborough County deputies.

According to arrest paperwork, the 29-year-old educator texted someone after the sexual encounter saying: “I cheated on ----- with a student.”

The third party asked: “When you say cheated, do you mean slept with?”

Lawson replied: “Yes.”

Deputies then met with the student who explained the encounter with them and identified Lawson as an English teacher at Lennard High School in Ruskin.

On Thursday, detectives met with Lawson who declined to provide a statement, but did admit the incident being investigated involved the text messages she sent to the third party, they said. The Hillsborough County woman was arrested on Friday morning and charged with two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

“You bring your children to school thinking that they’re in a safe environment, and for them to go through this, I don’t think it’s fair,” said Parent Veronica Flores.

Lawson was hired in August 2014 and there had been no previous complaints or issues in her file, school district officials said.

“We contacted all of the parents at Lennard High School, the Principal sent out a call this morning to all parents to let them know about the charges and make them aware that we are involved in the investigation,” said Hillsborough County Public Schools Spokesperson, Tanya Arja.

Lawson resigned her position Friday, and is no longer employed by the school district.  She has since bonded out of Hillsborough County Jail.

“We condemn it, I am sure her co-workers condemn it, and we’re certainly going o be very proactive and aggressive on prosecuting this case and trying to determine if there are other victims or not,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Larry McKinnon.

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