St. Petersburg -- Residents of Shore Acres were stunned to learn their neighbor, 39-year-old Elisha Joy Kingsley, was arrested Monday afternoon.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says Kingsley was having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy she met while teaching at Canterbury School of Florida in St. Petersburg.
"She met him toward the end of the school year, and during the summer they started texting back and forth on a phone app. On or about July 5th, they met and had sexual relations at an area that we are not disclosing at this time," said sheriff's office spokesperson Cristen Rensel.
Investigators say an anonymous caller tipped them off to the alleged sexual affair. Mac Hall, head of Canterbury School, released this statement: "This situation is deeply sad for us, because our students and their safety is our primary concern. We are aware of the arrest of a former employee. The teacher resigned before this information became available to us, however once we were made aware of the information we immediately reported the matter to DCF as required by law."
Kingsley's neighbor, Kathleen Proper is a former elementary school principal and says this type of behavior is detrimental to a teenager's development.
"Sixteen-year-olds don't know what they want. They think they do, but this teacher was wrong for getting involved. It is a violation of everything," said Proper.
We knocked on the door at Kingsley's Shore Acres home, but there was no answer.
Kingsley's bail was set at $20,000 and she bonded out of jail Monday evening. She is facing one count of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. The victim will not be identified persuant to Florida Statute 119.071(2)(h)1.
According to WTSP crime guidelines, the victim of a sex crime will not be reported unless that person comes forward and wishes to be identified.
Anyone with information on this investigation or other potential victims, is asked to contact Detective J. Stibbard with the sheriff's Crimes Against Children Unit at 727-582-6200. Or, to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS or www.crimestoppersofpinellas.org.