Mum, 38, allegedly traded vape pens for sex with high school students

A 38-year-old mum is accused of having sexual encounters with at least nine male high school students in exchange for vape pens.

Melissa Blair, from Englewood, Tennessee in the US was arrested last week and charged with 23 counts, including aggravated statutory rape, human trafficking by patronising prostitution and solicitation of a minor, according to the McMinn County Sheriff's Office.

Ms Blair communicated with the juveniles from McMinn Central High School on social media before allegedly arranging meetings with them and trading items for sexual encounters, Sheriff Joe Guy said in a press release.

She did not work at the school but was a member of its booster club — a volunteer-based parent group. Her own child attended the school until transferring on an unknown date.

Melissa Blair's mug shot after her arrest for allegedly having sex with school students.
Melissa Blair is accused of having sexual encounters with at least nine male students at a school also attended by her child. Source: McMinn County Sheriff's Office

“The current charges are related to nine confirmed male juvenile victims, related to incidents which occurred from Spring of 2020 through late 2021,” Sheriff Guy said.

Seven of the victims are juveniles, while another two who were allegedly victimised as teens are now adults, he added.

The victims ranged from 14 to 17 years at the time of the alleged sexual encounters, court documents seen by ABC’s Channel 9 say.

The mum of one of the teen boys told the publication Ms Blair would allegedly reach out to students on social media and offer vape pens in exchange for sexual favours.

“We are devastated at this point. I cannot in words describe what it feels like to be going through what we’re going through right now. It is every emotion that you can imagine. And none of them happy,” she said.

“People focus mostly on the perpetrator … they don’t realise how it devastates a family. How the families are at home, and we don’t know what to do next. I have no idea how to go forward with this.”

Fears of more sexual assault victims

The Director of McMinn County schools Lee Parkinson said the investigation into Ms Blair began after he received an anonymous note.

“I wanna thank that person for the anonymous letter. Without them this might still be going on,” Mr Parkinson said.

Sheriff Guy said his office was alerted on December 9 and uncovered additional information and victims.

Detectives spoke with Ms Blair and searched her home on December 15. The mum was also served with a letter from Mr Parkinson banning her from the high school and any school activities.

The 38-year-old was arrested and charged after turning herself in last week. She has since been released on bail, with her first court appearance set for February 28, ABC’s Channel 9 reports.

During a press conference, District Attorney Steve Crump said hundreds of hours had gone in to putting the case together, but said he feared there are more victims.

“It is inevitable that there are other victims, but we also understand you may be worried about your privacy. We want to make the fullest amount of justice possible,” he said.

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