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Fla. teacher Elisha Joy Kingsley arrested, accused of sex with 16-yr-old student

Former private school teacher Elisha Joy Kingsley was arrested after being accused of having an illicit relationship with a 16-year-old student she met while teaching at Canterbury School in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Former private school teacher Elisha Joy Kingsley was arrested after being accused of having an illicit relationship with a 16-year-old student she met while teaching at Canterbury School in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Klaus with K, Creative Commons

A former Florida private school teacher at Canterbury School in St. Petersburg has been accused of having sexual intercouse with a 16-year-old student she met while teaching there. However, Elisha Joy Kingsley, has retained a lawyer, the St. Petersburg Tribune reported Aug. 20, and claims that she did not have sex with the teen and the charges brought against her were done so based on false claims.

“They didn’t have sexual intercourse,” Summer Goldman told the Tribune. Goldman, who works sex crimes cases at the firm of Goldman Wetzel, said that her client knew the young man in question and had befriended the teen while teaching at Canterbury School.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office detectives arrested Elisha Joy Kingsley, 39, and charged her with a single count of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, according to the Bradenton Herald. Detectives contend that, basing their case on a meeting they had with the alleged victim, Kingsley had sex with the 16-year-old on or around the date of July 5 after texting and meeting each other at various locations in Pinellas County throughout June.

Dectectives are concerned that Kingsley's contact with children as a former teacher might lead them to other victims.

Kingsley resigned her teaching position in June.

Elisha Joy Kingsley isn't the only teacher -- or former teacher -- to face allegations of inappropriate relations with regard to students over the summer break. An Oklahoma teacher resigned her position after allegations were made she was having a relationship with a 15-year-old student. However, whereas all prosecutors had were allegations against 28-year-old Jennifer Sexton Caswell to begin with, a subsequent arrest in Mississippi, where the former teacher was caught in a hotel room in mid-July with the same teen, brought a reevaluation of the case -- and charges of rape.

And in Siloam Springs, Ark., Mary Faith McCormick faces charges of allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old student. The investigation into the 32-year-old teacher began when a 12-year-old friend of the alleged victim's borrowed his cell phone and found several photos of McCormick in various stages of undress, along with risque text messages.