Saturday, December 16, 2017
Education

Tampa teacher gets probation in case of sex with student

TAMPA — Charged last summer with having sex with a 17-year-old student, a former King High School English teacher was sentenced Monday to probation for a single child abuse charge.

Jeffrey Halle Jr., 33, will have to undergo psychiatric and sexual evaluation and counseling. He cannot hold a job in which he supervises children. And he will have to surrender his teaching license.

"He will not be able to teach in the state of Florida," said Mark Cox, spokesman for the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office. His probation will last 60 months and cannot end early, Cox said.

Halle joined the Hillsborough County school district in 2006 and taught in King's International Baccalaureate program and sponsored student clubs.

Law enforcement officials said the incidents began in March 2012 and involved a 17-year-old member of one of the clubs.

Halle, who was married, made plans with the girl to meet in a vacant classroom after school where the pair had their first encounter, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Months later, during summer break, officials said he arranged through text messages to meet her at her home. When he arrived, the girl's father confronted him. He was arrested six days later.

He resigned Nov. 30, school district spokesman Steve Hegarty said.

Halle initially was charged with a first-degree felony sexual battery charge and second-degree felony charges of traveling to meet a minor after using a computer and prohibited use of a computer service or device.

After reviewing the case, the State Attorney's Office reduced the charges to a single felony charge of child abuse.

"We felt that this was the appropriate charge, and the victim and her family were in agreement with the resolution," Cox said.

Marlene Sokol can be reached at (813) 226-3356 or [email protected]

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