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Former Teacher At Elite Sports Academy Charged With Having Sex With Underage Student
Taylor Anderson, reportedly a former nominee for teacher of the year, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student at Florida's IMG Academy.
A former teacher at an elite $84,000-a-year boarding school for student-athletes in Bradenton, Florida has been arrested and charged with sexual battery by custodial authority, traveling to meet a minor and transmission of harmful material to a minor, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
After several days of evading arrest, including a brief trip out of state, Taylor Anderson,38, surrendered Monday at the Manatee County Jail, the sheriff’s office said.
On Sept. 14, staff at IMG Academy notified detectives with the MCSO Crimes Against Children Unit of a possible relationship between Taylor and an underage student.
IMG administrators had heard rumors about an unlawful relationship between the teacher and the student and confronted the student about the rumors, the sheriff’s office said.
The student allegedly admitted to having sex with Anderson. After that the school banned Anderson from the campus, and she was fired last week. Anderson was hired in January of 2021 and taught English, a spokesperson at IMG told Oxygen.com in an email.
“As soon as school leadership was made aware of the alleged sexual incident between Ms. Anderson and a student, we immediately suspended Ms. Anderson, contacted the student’s family, and reported the incident to local authorities, the school said in a statement to Oxygen.com. “We terminated Ms. Anderson’s employment the following day. Given there is an active law enforcement investigation, we are unable to share additional details at this time. Our focus now is on providing support for our student and his family."
Sheriff’s deputies did not reveal the student’s age, but the Bradenton Herald reported the student is 17 years old.
Detectives discovered during their investigation that Anderson was communicating with the student via direct messages, social media and texts over a period of several weeks, according to authorities. They also said that Anderson picked up the student from the student’s apartment in July and traveled to the beach. Detectives allege the pair engaged in sexual acts while inside Anderson’s car.
Anderson refused to speak with detectives, leading them to execute search warrants at her home, her car and cellphone. Evidence gathered from the searches, along with information from the student’s cellphone, led to three arrest warrants being filed against Anderson, authorities said.
Anderson moved to Manatee County in 2018 with her husband and their six-year-old son, her attorney Jennifer Fury said during a first appearance hearing on Tuesday, according to the Bradenton Herald. Anderson was nominated for Teacher of the Year in Missouri and is working on her second master’s degree, the paper reported.