MARION COUNTY, Fla. - A 37-year-old teaching assistant in Marion County has been arrested and charged with having sexual contact with a 14-year-old Fort McCoy Middle School student, deputies said.
Katie Carsey, a married mother of two, first came to investigators’ attention in July when she was allegedly found partially clothed in a vehicle leaving a church parking lot, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said.
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A deputy pulled up to Carsey's vehicle and found her wearing only panties and a bra, a Sheriff's Office incident report said.
At the time, Carsey told deputies that she was meeting an adult male and the incident was documented and she was allowed to leave, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Paul Bloom said.
On Tuesday, though, a tip led deputies to the 14-year-old alleged victim, who said he was the one Carsey was meeting that night.
“We talked with the victim and the victim gave us the same story of being in that church parking lot with her and said, ‘When I saw the police officer turned around (I) left the parking lot and ran,’” Bloom said.
Officials with Marion County Schools said Carsey has never been in trouble before.
"Normal protocol is to place that employee on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of our investigation, which actually ramps up after the criminal investigation concludes," district spokesman Kevin Christian said.
Parent Adrienne Grant, though, did not understand why the district didn't just fire Carsey.
"I don't think she should be on paid leave," Grant said. "I think they should just, you know, she admitted to it. The child admitted to it. I think it should just be done and over with and she should lose her job over it."
Investigators said they believe there may be other victims and ask anyone with information to contact law enforcement at 352-368-3545.
"We want the children to understand they are not in trouble for this," Bloom said. "We want to encourage them to come forward."
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Carsey admitted to having sexual contact with the boy.
She was being held in lieu of a $10,000 bond on a charge of lewd or lascivious molestation.
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