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Teacher arrested for sex with student

Courtney Astolfi • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Michael Edwards, 47, of the 1200 block of Wickford Place in Huron, was charged Thursday with one count of sexual battery, a thirddegree felony.

Edwards allegedly had sex with the girl numerous times starting in fall 2012 and ending sometime before the new year, ErieCounty Detective Dennis Papineau said. The pair would have sex in buildings and vehicles at various locations around the county — Sandusky, Huron, Milan Township and, at times, his family’s Wickford Place home, Papineau said.    Edwards even touched the girl inappropriately inside the school at least once, Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said.

The encounters appear to be consensual, and deputies said they have no reason to suspect the acts were coercive. Still, Edwards’ position of authority ultimately landed him the charges, Sigsworth said.

On Thursday, Erie County deputies interviewed the Milan-area girl he had sex with — she is now 17— as well as a 17-year-old Monroeville-area student who received sexually suggestive text messages from Edwards during this school year, Papineau said.

“Based on the text messages we reviewed, he was pursuing it and she wanted nothing to do with it,” Papineau said of the Monroeville girl.

But that is not how Edwards’ relationship with the Milan girl played out late last year, deputies said. Edwards and the girl initially shared a friendship and began texting one another, but those exchanges quickly escalated to sexually suggestive messages, Papineau said.

The allegations came to light when school officials received an anonymous letter detailing Edwards’ conduct, Erie County Chief Deputy Jared Oliver said. That information was then passed on to the school’s resource officer and Erie County Children’s Services on Wednesday. Between then and Edwards’ arrest at about 4 p.m. Thursday, deputies conducted interviews with both girls.

“Based off those interviews, we had enough probable cause to arrest him,” Oliver said.

“This became a top priority for (our detectives) after we were notified yesterday,” Sigsworth said. “You need to get on something like that as quickly as you can.”

Edwards has since been placed on paid administrative leave pending further investigation, EHOVE superintendent Sharon Mastroianni said.

“EHOVE is always concerned about student and staff safety,” Mastroianni said. “When we hear news like this, we act immediately and take appropriate action.”

Edwards remains in the Erie County jail without bond.

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