DARLINGTON, S.C. – A high school teacher in the Darlington County School District has been arrested for having sex with a 16-year-old student.

The teacher, Anna Elizabeth Jeanette Patton, has been 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 came between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 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.

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