A middle school teacher at Hill-Gustat Middle School in Sebring, Florida, admitted to having sex with one of her 14-year-old students five times, authorities stated on Friday.
Highlands Today reports Stacy Lynn Hooks, 38, of Sebring, Florida, admitted to having sex with one of her students, including three different encounters of intercourse and two encounters of oral sex. Investigators also discovered several nude pictures of the teacher on the boy’s cellphone, including a collage of her backside.
The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office arrested Hooks on Thursday and charged her with lewd battery, transmission of material harmful to a minor by electronic device, and traveling to meet a minor to engage in unlawful sexual conduct. According to Highlands County Sheriff Susan Benton, the teacher was predator.
“Cases like this, we tend to find that there has been a slow seduction process and the young person has a lot of confidence in the adult.”
Hooks is a science teacher at the middle school. The school district placed her on administrative leave with pay while authorities continue the investigation. According to the school district’s Deputy Superintendent, Rodney Hollinger, the Highlands County School Board staff will meet on Tuesday to discuss whether Hooks suspension should be without pay.
Authorities first suspected that Hooks was having inappropriate contact with the child after they received a report from the child’s mother to the sheriff’s office on February 15. After searching the boy’s cellphone and finding the photos, authorities interviewed Hooks on February 18. She readily admitted to having sex with her student. She stated that the relationship began in May of last year and ended with a final sexual encounter on February 5.
On Friday morning, Hooks appeared before a judge via closed-circuit television to hear her charges and learn the amount of her bail. Before the judge read the charges, the teacher asked him to not read them aloud. He obliged. The meeting before the judge lasted a little more than 10 minutes, and Hooks appeared shaken and teary-eyed.
Outside of the courtroom, reporters attempted to get comments from the victim’s family, but they sternly said, “No questions,” before walking away.
Hooks has worked for the Highlands County school district for 15 years, which included teaching at both elementary schools and middle schools. She’s worked at Hill-Gustat Middle School since 2012.
Florida Teachers Accused of Sex With Students Begin to Mount Up
This isn’t the first time a Florida teacher has been accused of having sex with a student. Earlier this year, Sara Moore, 35, was arrested for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old boy more than 12 times in her home in St. Cloud, Florida. According to the teen, who claims to be friends with Moore, he had sex with her at least 25 times in various places, including her own daughter’s bedroom, in the back of a car, and at a gas station.
Moore, a married St. Cloud Middle School health teacher, was arrested and charged with 10 counts of sexual battery on a minor. After she made bail, she was arrested again in January, 2015, on suspicion of tampering with the case’s evidence.
In November, 2015, 26-year-old Virginia Hinckley, of Jacksonville, was arrested and charged with having sex with a 16-year-old student. Hinckley taught at St. Augustine High School and the victim, a teen boy, was a student in one of her classes.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office arrested Hinckley on November 25 and charged her with a second degree felony of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. Hinckley is married and pregnant. She announced on Facebook that her baby was due in May, around nine months after the sexual relationship with her student began.
In 2004, former Tampa middle school teacher Debra Lafave made national headlines after having sex with a 14-year-old student. Now 34, Lafave remains on probation and is listed as a sex offender in the national sex offender database.
The investigation into Stacy Lynn Hooks is still ongoing. Anyone with any information should call Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit at (863) 402-7357. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact the Heartland Crime Stoppers at (800) 226-TIPS (8477). Authorities indicate that anonymity is guaranteed.
[Photo by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office]