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Female teacher charged with sexually molesting male student

6:12 PM, Oct 24, 2007   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - Most students leaving Middleton High School had heard about the special education teacher arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with one of her students.

"I think it's pretty messed up and I don't have her personally as a teacher, but all the students are pretty shocked," said Niserg Rao, a 12th grade student at Middleton High.

Tampa Police arrested 33-year-old Christina Lin Butler Tuesday night on a felony charge of Lewd or Lascivious Battery. Police say Butler at first denied, then admitted having sex with a 16-year-old student.

"She said that they had sexual relations no more than a dozen times and the most recent time being Monday," said TPD Spokesperson Andrea Davis.

Davis says the sexual relationship happened at Butler's home on Tampa Street North.

The relationship was discovered while undercover officers were investigating another crime, auto burglaries at an apartment complex on Hillsborough Avenue East.

The officers saw six teens on bike wearing Halloween gloves, then pulled over the same kids in a blue Jeep on North 22nd Street.

"They were saying, 'Oh it's a friend's car, it's a friend's car.' Well they went ahead and called the owner of the car and she was on her way to pick up the car,” said Davis.

While police waited for the owner of the blue Jeep to show up, one of the teens in the back seat told them something they never expected.

"And one of the kids in the back seat blurted out, 'Yeah the driver of the car's having a sexual relationship with our teacher and this is her car,'" said Davis.

Now Butler is suspended with pay while she faces the charge against her.

A Hillsborough Schools spokesman says Butler has worked as a full-time special education teacher since August.

Police do not believe there are any other victims.

No one answered Butler’s door when we knocked, and a message left at her home was not returned.

Before teaching, Butler’s school district application shows she most recently worked as a Vet Tech/Receptionist at Brandon Lakes Animal Hospital.

The application indicates Butler received a Bachelors Degree in History and Biology from the University of Tampa in May 2006.

Diane Simpkinson, listed as a reference on Butler’s application, told 10 News she is shocked by the charge against Butler. Simpkinson is a teacher at an elementary school at MacDill Air Force Base.

Simpkinson says Butler is a trustworthy person who took care of her pets in Simpkinson’s home while she was away.

Butler was released from the Hillsborough County jail Wednesday on $7,500 bail.

Dave Balut, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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