A Lakeland middle school teacher has been arrested on allegations he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old student.
Lakeland police arrested 28-year-old Michael E. Taveras at his Winter Haven home early Tuesday.
Taveras is a media teacher at Southwest Middle School in Lakeland.
Police say he forced himself on the girl while he supervised her community service at the school this summer.
Investigators report that the student was afraid to tell anyone what happened but confided in a therapist who told her parents. Her parents then contacted police.
Police said Taveras texted the girl, gave her e-cigarettes, lingerie and small bottles of alcohol.
"He was grooming her and pulling her in the direction he wanted to go, took advantage of her," said LPD spokesman Gary Gross.
Gross said investigators found physical evidence at Taveras home to back up the girl's claims including a receipt for the returned lingerie.
Parents arriving to pick up their students at the school Tuesday afternoon were shocked.
"It's just a horrible, horrible thing that something would happen at this school. It is a very good school," said parent Denise Miller.
LPD said Taveras confessed to having sex with the student. He is being held at the Polk County jail without bond.
Polk County's school superintendent said she has suspended Taveras without pay and is recommending to the school board that he be fired.
According to the school district, Taveras was hired on Oct. 25, 2010, and his annual salary is $38,349. He has had no prior discipline or investigations, according to his personnel file.