Anna Patton

Patton

DARLINGTON — A Darlington County School District high school teacher was arrested Monday for having sex with a 16-year-old student.

Anna Elizabeth Jeanette Patton, 22, of Florence, a teacher at Lamar High School, is charged with three crimes: sexual battery with a student 16 or 17 years of age, no aggravated force or coercion; criminal solicitation of a minor; and disseminating harmful material or exhibiting harmful performance to minors.

“The employee has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation,” Audrey Childers, a spokesperson for the school district, wrote in a news release.

According to arrest warrants obtained by the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office, the offenses occurred between Oct. 1 and Jan. 11 in the Lamar area.

Patton is accused of having sexual intercourse and performing oral sex on multiple occasions.

She also is accused of distributing material that depicts sexually explicit nudity to the juvenile victim through social media platforms and she “did knowingly communicate with the juvenile victim … through social media and text messaging for the purpose of enticing the victim to engage in sexual activities.”

“Probable cause was obtained through evidence and victim’s statements,” according to the warrants.

The safety of students is the district’s highest priority, Childers said in the news release.

“The district is cooperating fully with the law enforcement investigation,” she said.

Patton was booked into the W. Glenn Campbell Detention Center Monday morning and released later Monday under a $7,500 bond, $2,500 on each charge, according to information on the detention center website. She was ordered not to return to the school and to have no further contact with the victim or the victim’s family, according to reports.

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