Former teacher charged with sex crimes against 12-year-old student
SENATOBIA, MS (WMC) - A former Mid-South teacher is under arrest for allegedly engaging in sexual activity with a 12-year-old student.
Whitney Fair Mullen, 34, appeared in court Thursday morning in Senatobia, Mississippi on charges of molestation and sexual battery of a child.
Mullen is a former teacher at Strayhorn Elementary School in Tate County.
Senatobia police said the alleged victim is now 18 and recently came forward, though the accusations date back to 2008. Investigators say they recovered messages sent between the two.
According to detectives, the crimes did not take place on school grounds, but instead, at Mullen's home when the victim was supposed to be doing work around the house.
Mullen's initial bond was set at $5 million, but was reduced to $250,000.
With long hair hiding her face, the former teacher didn't have anything to say about accusations after court on Thursday.
The situation has torn the alleged victim's family to pieces.
"I just want the parents to know that this could happen to their child," said the father, who asked not to be identified in order to protect his family's privacy.
His son just came forward, saying his teacher at Strayhorn Elementary School in Tate County engaged in sexual activity with him six years ago.
"As a parent you trust preachers, teachers, people of authority you trust with your kids, because they spend more time with them than you do," the father said.
Investigators say the parents trusted Mullen, even bringing their son to her house to work. His father says he has a lot of respect for teachers and says, perhaps, they had too much trust in Mullen.
"Maybe it was a little too naive, I guess is the word, but a terrible price was paid," he said, who admits there were signs something was wrong. He wants to warn other parents to look for changes in behavior and patterns. "It's impacted his life, from the time he was 12 'til now."
Mullen no longer works for Tate County Schools and has not for awhile, according to police.
It's unclear whether there are any other victims, but this father is urging parents to talk with their children.
"We made a family decision to come forward with it, because of the fact that there may be other victims or there could be victims out there that we're not aware of," he said.
Parents should call Senatobia Police Department at 662-562-5642 if you suspect your child is the victim of abuse.
A phone call to Mullen's attorney for comment was not returned Thursday.
In Mississippi, there is no statute of limitations on sex crimes.
Mullen's case will go before a grand jury.
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