ROSWELL, Ga. – A Crabapple Middle School teacher has resigned and is now in jail after allegedly molesting a student.
Timothy Benton, 59, of Roswell, was arrested May 27 after police say he engaged an eighth grade female student in a relationship, allegedly kissing her several times in his classroom and texting her multiple times.
According to a Fulton Schools report, he had taught the student for three years before he said developed “affectionate feelings.” The interactions began in November 2013 and continued until staff was made aware of the actions May 21.
According to Susan Hale, spokeswoman for the Fulton County School System, the system and Fulton School police learned of the incidents and began to investigate.
Several teachers and other staff members reported seeing Benton and the student together numerous times being inappropriately close or in the classroom alone together during school hours.
The investigation concluded Benton exhibited unprofessional conduct with the student for communicating with her outside school hours and “making physical contact with the student in a manner that can be considered inappropriate.”
Benton resigned his position May 26.
As a result of the police investigation, the Fulton County School Police Department secured warrants and arrested Benton for child molestation and enticing a minor for indecent purposes on Tuesday, May 27.
The Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS) was also notified.
“It is extremely disappointing to learn about this unfortunate matter,” Hale said. “The alleged conduct goes against the ethics and morals expected in a system where student safety is a top priority. The alleged behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Fulton County Schools.”
Benton was held in Fulton County Jail on $50,000 bond on charges of child molestation. Charges of enticing a child for indecent purposes were dismissed.