A Florida kindergarten teacher has been arrested after authorities say she filmed herself sexually abusing a child and then sent the explicit videos to her ex-boyfriend.
Audra Mabel, 34, is facing federal charges of creating child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child after investigators discovered multiple videos of the alleged abuse on the phone of her ex-boyfriend, Justin Ritchie, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The videos were discovered earlier this month after a preschool-aged relative of Ritchie’s told her mother that he had touched her inappropriately, according to the arrest affidavit.
The child told Seminole County deputies he had touched her “many times” and said there was video of the abuse on his phone.
After executing a search warrant for the phone and other devices, investigators discovered the videos, along with others allegedly recorded by Mabel when she was working as a first-grade teacher in Michigan.
The videos sent by Mabel show her inappropriately touching a young child related to her. The child was not a student at the school where she worked; however, one video was shot in the teacher’s Lansing, Michigan classroom. In it, Mabel is seen putting the camera under her skirt and then videotaping the children in her classroom while she talks with them, Florida news station WFTV reports.
Robert Kolt, a spokesman for the Lansing School District, told the Lansing State Journal that Mabel had been hired as a temporary replacement teacher for a first grade classroom and worked at the school from November 2016 to June 2017. She left after the school year and was working as a kindergarten teacher at Spring Lake Elementary in Florida at the time of her arrest.
Michael Lawrence, a spokesman with the Seminole County Public Schools, told WFTV that she has been fired and that parents of her students have been notified of the allegations against her and asked to report any questionable activity to authorities.
Mabel allegedly told authorities she began a relationship with Ritchie in July 2017, but ended it in 2018 after he refused to leave his wife, the local television station reports.
Ritchie has been charged with sexual assault by a custodian of a victim under 12 years of age, jail records show.
Both suspects are being held at the Seminole County jail.
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