ATHENS, Tenn. (WATE) – An Englewood woman has been indicted on more than 20 sex charges after investigators say she traded items for sexual encounters with male students who attend McMinn Central High School.
Melissa Blair, 38, is charged with 18 counts of aggravated statutory rape, four counts of human trafficking by patronizing prostitution and one count of solicitation. She turned herself in Tuesday and was booked into the McMinn County Jail on a $100,000 bond. She is not, nor has she ever been, a school employee.
McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy said in a Tuesday press conference that Blair traded items for sexual encounters from spring 2020 through late 2021. Guy said the encounters began through communication on social media.
McMinn County Director of Schools Lee Parkison said the investigation began after an anonymous letter was left in his office.
“Without them this could still be going on,” Parkison said, thanking whomever wrote the letter.
Parkinson said Blair was not employed by the school but was involved with school clubs, “… like other parents are.”
Officials said seven of the nine victims are juveniles while two are now legal adults.
“We suspect there may be additional juvenile victims and we encourage them or their parents to contact us. There may possibly be other victims who are now adults, and we also encourage them to contact us,” Sheriff Guy said. “This type of case is difficult and shocking even to us seasoned detectives, and I want to commend our staff for the many hours of identifying, locating, and interviewing victims and their families, as well as the many days of putting together the search warrant subsequent case file. But most importantly we want to offer support and resources to the victim and their parents as we move forward.”
District Attorney General Steve Crump, 10th Judicial District, also encouraged other parents and victims to come forward.
“So we can make the fullest amount of justice possible for the most amount of victims.”