Polk County deputies have arrested a Mulberry High School teacher for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old female student.
- Teacher, student reportedly had two sexual encounters in a classroom
- Teacher told investigators he felt guilty about relationship
Jason Argo, 34, has been charged with three counts of sexual battery by custodian on a victim between 12 and 18 years old.
The sexual activity took place during the 2014-2015 school year, according to deputies.
Investigators said Argo and the student started "sexting" on their phones and then the relationship turned physical. A report said there were two sexual encounters in a classroom at the school and another at Argo's home.
Students said Argo was a popular, well-liked teacher.
"I don't want to believe it at all," said Mulberry student Epiphany Foster. "I saw it on Facebook and I couldn't believe it. He's my mentor, my favorite teacher."
Investigators said when they questioned Argo he blamed his behavior on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from serving in the military.
They said he also told the girl he was involved with that he felt "guilty" about the relationship, because he was married and his wife was pregnant at the time.
Parents of students who attend the high school said there is no excuse.
"It's really scary to even send your child to school, because you're putting your trust in the teachers and that they won't take advantage of your child," said parent Juana Mazariegos.
Argo has been an employee of Polk County Schools since 2010.
The district said he has been placed on administrative leave. A recommendation is being made to terminate him.