Polk teacher turns himself in for lewd charges

Bartow, Florida -- A Bartow charter school teacher under investigation for lewd and lascivious behavior with a student turned himself in to deputies Wednesday.

In January, investigators say Robert Walrath, a teacher at Compass Charter Middle School, inappropriately hugged one of his students, touched her on the buttocks, sent her a picture of himself bare-chested, and shared several sexually explicit text messages with her.

Walrath was fired in April after details of the sexual encounters were released. Investigators then sent their findings to the State Attorney's Office who, after reviewing the case, issued an arrest warrant for Walrath for charges of transmission of harmful material to a minor and lewd and lascivious behavior.

A Bartow Police officer then got into contact with Walrath who was out of state and said he would surrender himself to police upon his return. As promised, he did just that Wednesday at 1 p.m.


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