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Polk teacher's aide accused of coercing 11-year-old for sex faces federal charge

TAMPA — A teacher's aide accused by Lakeland police of trying to have sex with an 11-year-old boy she called "love bug" now faces a federal criminal case.

Alecia Kay Dotson, 45, was indicted Wednesday in Tampa on a charge of coercion of a minor.

Investigators tipped off by a concerned mother arrested Dotson on June 30 at the Lakeland Square Mall after she bought supplies for a planned encounter with the boy at a mall movie theater, according to the Lakeland Police Department.

Dotson told police she started off as a mentor, developed a "crush" on the boy and then considered herself to be in a "romantic relationship."

She worked at Highlands Grove Elementary, where the victim was enrolled.

The boy's mother had checked his cell phone and discovered disturbing communications between the two. Police reported that the aide and the child exchanged more than 100 text messages.

One arrived while Lakeland police were at the family's home taking a report.

"I'll be sure to tell her we won't have sex on the first visit…LOL," the message stated.

Detectives had control of the phone on June 30, when another text arrived asking, "Are you awake love bug?"

That led to plans for a meeting at the mall's Cinemark Movie Theater, police said.