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    Teacher charged with having sex with girl

    The Blake High health teacher is accused of having an affair in March with a 17-year-old student.

    By MELANIE AVE, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published April 10, 2002


    TAMPA -- One day after Derek Scott resigned as a Blake High School health teacher, police arrested him Tuesday and charged him with having sex with a 17-year-old female student.

    Scott, 28, of 8203 Drycreek Drive, was released on $1,000 bail hours after turning himself in to detectives.

    Tampa Police Department spokeswoman Katie Hughes said another Blake student told a school resource officer in March about the alleged relationship. The officer referred the matter to a detective.

    "It was one of those, 'Hey, I heard such and such,' " Hughes said.

    Scott faces one felony charge of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. But Hughes said the case remains open and Scott could face additional charges.

    Scott said Tuesday that he is cooperating with authorities.

    He wouldn't confirm or deny the allegations, saying only that he is "letting the process work itself out."

    Investigators allege that the sexual activity occurred between March 2 and March 22 at an undisclosed location.

    Hughes would not say whether the sexual activity was consensual, but she did say it was not an attack.

    School district officials reassigned Scott to work administrative duties March 7 after learning of the accusations and police investigation.

    On Monday, Scott resigned, citing personal reasons, district spokesman Mark Hart said.

    Hart said officials will notify the Florida Department of Education about Scott's arrest, which could affect his teacher certification.

    Since August 2000, Scott taught health classes and served as a soccer coach at Blake, a central Tampa fine arts magnet school. He has received mostly positive annual reviews from his supervisors.

    He is a graduate of Robinson High School and Tennessee Technical University, with a degree in health and physical education. Before joining Blake, Scott was a teacher at a Jacksboro, Tenn., elementary school.

    -- Melanie Ave can be reached at 226-3400 or melanie@sptimes.com.

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