published Friday, February 18th, 2011

McMinn teacher's aide charged with statutory rape

A McMinn County teacher’s aide has been charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old student at McMinn County High School, according to Sheriff Joe Guy.

Tonia Hennessee Martin, 38, of Athens, is charged with two counts of aggravated statutory rape and solicitation of a minor, Guy states in a release. Martin was working at Rogers Creek Elementary School when accusations were leveled, he states.

Martin turned herself in at the McMinn County Justice Center and faces an upcoming court date in Criminal Court.

Martin gave a police statement that “seemed to substantiate the allegations,” Guy said.

Detectives presented the case to the McMinn County grand jury on Tuesday. The grand jury returned an indictment on the charges.

“We have no indication that any inappropriate activity occurred on school grounds, nor was in any way connected to our school system,” Guy states. “It seems that Ms. Martin became acquainted with the 16-year-old student because he was a friend of her daughter.”

Guy said the school system cooperated fully in the investigation.

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