ATHENS, Tenn. (WATE) — Melissa Blair has posted her $100,000 bail according to Sheriff Joe Guy.
McMinn County authorities announced during a Tuesday press conference that Blair has been indicted on more than 20 sex charges including 18 counts of aggravated statutory rape, four counts of human trafficking by patronizing prostitution, and one count of solicitation of a minor.
This comes after a monthslong investigation including a search of Blair’s home.
“The current charges are related to nine confirmed male juvenile victims related to incidents that occurred in the spring of 2020 to late 2021,” said McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy.
Sherriff Guy reports all nine victims were students at McMinn Central High School. Two of the nine victims are now adults while seven are still under 18.
While the list of charges and victims is long, the sheriff says the investigation is ongoing and more charges could be brought.
“We suspect there may be additional juvenile victims, and we encourage them or their parents to contact us,” Guy said. “There may be additional victims who are also now adults, we encourage them to contact as well.”
McMinn County Schools Director Lee Parkison says Blair was never employed by the school system, but she did have a child enrolled in the schools. The student has since transferred. Blair is banned from McMinn County Schools property. Parkison added counseling will be available for students at McMinn Central.
“It is inevitable that there are other victims out there most likely,” said 10th Judicial District Attorney General Steve Crump. “We want you to feel comfortable to coming forward.”
According to Sheriff Guy, Blair was communicating with the boys on social media, arranging meetings, and then trading items for sexual encounters. When the sheriff was questioned about what “items” were involved, he declined to give specifics.
“This type of case is difficult and shocking even to seasoned detectives,” Guy said. “And I want to commend our investigators for the many hours of identifying, locating, and interviewing victims and their families. As well as many days collecting physical and electronic evidence, putting together the search warrant and putting together the case file.”
Guy added Blair will more than likely be arraigned Wednesday.