DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – A Darlington County School District teacher has been charged with having an “inappropriate relationship” with a student.
Warrants from the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office allege that between October 1, 2019 and January 11, 2020 in the Lamar area, Anna Elizabeth Jeanette Patton communicated with the victim “through social media and text messaging for the purpose of enticing the victim to engage in sexual activities.”
Warrants also allege that between October 1 and January 11, Patton “did commit the offense of disseminating harmful material to a minor” and “did distribute material that depicts sexually explicit nudity to the juvenile victim” through “social media platforms.”
Warrants further allege that between October 1 and December 31, Patton “did willfully engage in sexual battery with the juvenile victim” and that Patton “did have direct supervisory authority over the student enrolled in the school.”
The warrants state the victim was 16-years-old at the time of the alleged incident.
According to the warrants, Patton is charged with:
- sex/sexual battery with a student 16 or 17 years of age, no aggravate force or coercion
- obscene/disseminating harmful material or exhibiting harmful performance to minors
- minor/criminal solicitation of a minor
Patton is a teacher within the school district, according to the DCSO. She has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, according to the district.
Patton was booked into the W. Glenn Campbell Detention Center at 10:12 a.m. Monday, according to booking records. She remains in the center as of 10:30 a.m. Monday.
Her bond was set at $7,500 and she was ordered by the judge to not return to Lamar High School. She also is to have no contact with the victim or the victim’s family directly or indirectly.
“The Darlington County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Darlington County School District (DCSD) employee in regards to allegations that she engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a DCSD high school student,” said Audrey Childers, the school district’s public information officer. “The safety of our students is our highest priority. The district is cooperating fully with the law enforcement investigation.”