Suzanne Owen, a now fired teacher at an evangelical school in Fort Myers, Florida, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student, local authorities announced in a news release.
Owen’s name was also given by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department as Suzanne Lea Owen. She is 35-years-old, according to the department’s news release. Owen is but the latest in a string of female teachers throughout the United States to be accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student. The cases have spanned the country, and there have been other unrelated incidents in Florida involving different female teachers.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Owen Was Accused of Having an ‘Inappropriate Sexual Relationship’ with a Student
According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Department, Suzanne Owen was placed under arrest. “Detectives arrested a local high school teacher for having an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of her students,” the Lee County Sheriff’s news release said.
The investigation moved fast; it began on April 11, 2018, the same day that Owen’s arrest was announced, authorities revealed. “On April 11, 2018, Lee County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit detectives began investigating an alleged sexual relationship between a 35-year old female teacher and one of her male students,” the Sheriff’s Department wrote.
Owen is from North Fort Myers, Florida. She was a teacher at Evangelical Christian School, which describes itself in its mission statement as “an independent Christian preschool through grade twelve. We offer a traditional Campus and Online Academy.”
2. Authorities Say They Uncovered Text Messages Between Owen & the Student
Electronic communication has been a factor in many of the cases involving female teachers throughout the United States, and the Owen case is no different in that regard.
“Deputies responded to Evangelical Christian School at 8237 Beacon Boulevard, Fort Myers, and met with the suspect, Suzanne Lea Owen (DOB 07-09-82),” the press release stated.
“The investigation revealed that she had one sexual encounter with the male student one week prior, where the two decided to meet off-campus. Detectives further discovered the teacher had been communicating with the student through personal text messages several weeks prior to the incident.”
The bond for Owen, who is married, was set at $50,000. “She’s ordered not to have any contact with minors, and can only have supervised contact with her own children. She’s not allowed back on school property, or able to contact anyone that works at the school besides her husband,” according to NBC 2. On LinkedIn, she defines herself as a high school teacher.
3. Owen, Previously a Finalist for a Teaching Award Called the ‘Golden Halo,’ Is Accused of a Felony
Authorities are taking the accusations very seriously, although they haven’t released many more details of them. They are accusing Owen of a felony crime.
“Suzanne Lea Owen has been charged with Custodial Sexual Battery, a first degree felony, and booked into the Lee County Jail,” the press release stated.
Before the arrest, Owen enjoyed a positive reputation in the school community. “Owen was a finalist for the Golden Halo teacher award, …read more