DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – An employee with the Darlington County School District was arrested for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a high school student, district officials said.
A press release from the Darlington County School District confirms the woman’s arrest. Arrest warrants from the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office identify her as Anna Elizabeth Jeanette Patton. She is charged with criminal solicitation of a minor, disseminating harmful material or exhibiting harmful performance to minors, and sexual battery with a student 16 or 17 years or age, no aggravated force or coercion.
The warrants allege that, between Oct. 1, 2019 and Jan. 11, Patton communicated with a 16-year-old through social media and text messages “for the purpose of enticing the victim to engage in sexual activities.” She is also accused of distributing material depicting sexually explicit nudity to the juvenile through social media, authorities said.
Patton is also accused of willfully engaging in sexual battery with the juvenile between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2019, the warrants state.
The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, the release stated.
“The safety of our students is our highest priority. The district is cooperating fully with the law enforcement investigation,” the release stated.