Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Former Dunedin Middle School teacher accused of lewd acts against boy, 14

CLEARWATER — A former Dunedin Middle School teacher faces charges after he was accused of having sex with a student.

According to the Clearwater Police Department and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Marselia Anthony Smith, 34, committed the lewd acts against the 14-year-old boy both on school grounds and at his Clearwater residence in February.

Smith was a chorus teacher but no longer is employed with the school.

The Sheriff’s Office began its investigation on Thursday after receiving information from the Clearwater Police Department, which arrested Smith on two counts of lewd and lascivious battery. One of the incidents occurred on school grounds, which falls under the jurisdiction of Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say Smith began communicating with the boy — who was not one of his students — through social media.

The inappropriate activity occurred during non-school hours in February, deputies said.

Smith admitted the conduct during an interview with Clearwater detectives, but declined an interview with the Sheriff’s Office, according to deputies.

He is being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $60,000 bail.

It is not known whether there are any additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (727) 582-6483.

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