A Florida teacher was arrested on charges that he had a relationship with an underage student and allegedly told the girl that if he got caught “it was worth it.”
Police arrested 30-year-old Jason Michael Tarlton on Tuesday and they say that after they clapped the handcuffs on him, they found a copy of the Florida statutes involving sex crimes in the front seat of his car. Tarlton is an English teacher at Lake Weir High School but the victim, who was 17-years-old at the time of the affair, has since transferred to another school, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.
On Tuesday morning, authorities at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office learned that images showing a naked teacher and a 17-year-old student were circulating the school. Detective Shannon Wiles followed up on the reports, getting in touch with the school resource officer and gained access to the photos. Another image showed Tarlton and the victim in front of a hotel room mirror where he was wearing only underwear and the student wore a t-shirt. The photos were shared via Snapchat and an app called “After School.” The girl told Wiles that she uploaded the photos to the app by accident, according to a report from ClickOrlando.
Wiles contacted the victim who said that Tarlton had previously been her teacher and that their friendship blossomed in the summer. She told the detective that she “loved” Tarlton and that he “loved her.” She said that she and Tarlton went to a hotel room where they engaged in sexual activities and that the suspect told her if they were caught that they would surely get in trouble, but added that “she was worth it.”
Tarlton is facing a charge of sexual assault by a custodian with a victim between 12 and 18 years old.