Liberty Co. Teacher Arrested for Sexual Battery of a Child

Antony Joseph
Posted at 3:22 PM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 00:30:58-04

LIBERTY CO, FL (WTXL) - A teacher at Liberty County High School has been arrested by deputies for sexual battery and molestation of a child.

According to the Liberty County Sheriff's Office, Antony Joseph was arrested after deputies received reports that he was having inappropriate sexual relations with a high school student.

Deputies say they immediately began an investigation which led to the arrest of Joseph.

Joseph was a J.R.O.T.C. teacher at the school.

District officials say he has been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the investigation.

Joseph is facing two counts of sexual battery on a child and three counts of lewd or lascivious molestation on a child.

He is being held in the Liberty County Jail on a $350,000 bond.

Superintendent David H. Summers released the below statement Wednesday:

In the late evening hours of Sunday, April 24, 2016, I was made aware by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office of the impending arrest of Anthony M. Joseph, an employee of the District, for improper contact with a minor child. I am extremely upset that this employee has allegedly violated the public trust and caused harm to one of our students.

Mr. Joseph has been employed by the District as a JROTC Instructor at Liberty County High School. It is my understanding that Mr. Joseph was arrested on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, and is in the custody of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to employment, Mr. Joseph was subjected to the same rigorous background and reference check as all new hires and there was no indication of a history or propensity for this type of criminal behavior.

Immediately upon learning of the allegations against Mr. Joseph, I took immediate action to suspend Mr. Joseph’s employment without pay, pending outcome of the investigation; and will make my final recommendation of employment to the Board after the completion of the investigation.

The allegations have been reported to the Florida Department of Children and Families and a report will be made to the Florida Department of Education Office of Professional Practices.

The District’s highest priority is the safety and well-being of its students. The District is committed to providing support for the victim and the victim’s family and to ensure the safety of all students. Additionally, the District will provide continued support and assistance to the Sheriff’s Office during the investigation.