WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WTXL) - Police say a Florida high school teacher is facing felony charges for continuing to have sexually explicit conversations with a 15-year-old victim even after finding out the victim's age.
The Winter Haven Police Department says that 27-year-old Robin Dunlap, who is a teacher at Haines City High School, has been arrested after sexting and sending nude photos to a 15-year-old Texas boy.
Police say that in September, Dunlap turned herself in for sending the nudes. At that time, she told police that she sent the photos before he knew his age.
The victim had represented himself as a 19 year-old throughout the conversations the two had over Xbox One, Kik and video chat. After finding out the truth, Dunlap chose to turn herself in.
However, the police department received information from the victim's family alleging that Dunlap continued to have conversations with the victim at the end of October.
Detectives were able to confirm the allegations and met Dunlap at her home on Sunday to confront her about the ongoing contact.
"Dunlap didn't deny and in fact told investigators that she continued to speak to the victim because he is the only person that she can talk to and the only one who understands her," police wrote in a press release.
Dunlap also gave investigators consent to look at her phones, where police found evidence of sexually explicit conversations between Dunlap and the victim.
"There is absolutely no excuse for an adult, especially a high school teacher, to continue sexually explicit conversations with a 15 year-old long after his real age is revealed," said Chief Charlie Bird. "The vulnerable age of this victim and the fact that this woman took advantage of him for her own personal needs is inexcusable."
Based on the fact that Dunlap knew the age of the victim, yet continued to
have sexually explicit conversations with the 15 year-old, Dunlap was taken
into custody and booked into the Polk County Jail.
She has been charged with transmitting material harmful to minor (F.S.S. 847.0138) F3 and using 2-way communication device to commit a felon (F.S.S. 934.215) F3.
According to WFTS, Polk County Public Schools released this statement:
"Robin Dunlap was working as a physics teacher at Haines City High School International Baccalaureate.
The district’s Human Resources department has been conducting an internal investigation on this employee since October. She was placed on administrative leave Oct. 3, and was later reassigned to our facility at the Bartow Airbase pending the resolution of the criminal investigation. There is no past disciplinary action in her personnel file.
"Our first priority must be the safety of our students,” said Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd. “We immediately took this teacher out of the classroom when these allegations surfaced and began our internal investigation. As educators, we are held to the highest of standards, and we must do everything in our power to protect children. This type of conduct runs contrary to that mission, and is disgusting and indefensible. I have instructed my HR staff to immediately begin the process of termination. We will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement."