Jason Michael Tarlton was arrested at his home after refusing to talk to a local detective about the alleged relationship. The student with whom he had the affair is 17 and has since transferred to a different school. According to the detective’s report, Tarlton had a printed copy of Florida statutes about probation relating to sexual offenses in the passenger seat of his car. He has been released from jail on a $10,000 bond.
Officials from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office say they were tipped off about sexually explicit photos that students had been circulating on their phones. A resource officer from the school says the pictures were from an app called After School. Reportedly, students were screenshotting the photos and then sharing them via Snapchat.
Based on the detective’s report, the relationship appears to have been consensual—which is not to say a minor can consent to sex with a grown-ass man, but you know what I mean. The teenager told the detective that she “loved” Tarlton, and he “loved her.” She explained that he had been her teacher last year and that their relationship developed throughout the summer. According to the teen, they they had sex in July at an Ocala hotel. She said that Tarlton knew he would be in trouble if they got caught, but according to her, he said “she was worth it.” Ugh.
According to a spokesperson for Marion County Public Schools, Tarlton, who was hired by the district in 2016, doesn’t have a disciplinary record.