Tennessee mom Melissa Blair allegedly swapped vape pens for sex with teenage boys
A high school booster club mom from Tennessee faces nearly two dozen rape charges after she allegedly exchanged vape pens for sexual favors with nine underage high school boys, as young as 14 – and officials say there could be more victims.
Melissa Blair, 38, of Englewood, was indicted Tuesday was indicted by the McMinn County Grand Jury on 18 counts of aggravated statutory rape, four counts of human trafficking by patronizing prostitution and one count of solicitation of a minor, according to the McMinn County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Joe Guy said in a press conference Tuesday that the alleged encounters happened from spring 2020 through late 2021 with students of McMinn Central High School.
Blair, who is the parent of a student at McMinn County Central High School and was involved in school booster clubs, was believed to be talking to the students on social media, authorities said.
The sheriff’s allege she provided the boys with gifts, including vape pens, in exchange for sexual favors.
She has since been banned from school property and activities.
Melissa Blair, 38, of Englewood, Tennessee, is accused of having sex with nine underage high school boys between Spring 2020 and late 2021
An undated Facebook photo of Blair, 38, provided by the sheriff’s office in a release Tuesday after she had been indicted on numerous charges related to sexual encounters with nine underage high school students
Sheriff Guy said that the McMinn County Sheriff’s Department received a referral from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services on December 9, 2021 that indicated Blair had been having sexual encounters with male juveniles who were students at McMinn Central High School.
An investigation began immediately, and as interviews progressed, additional information came to light, as well as additional victims.
On December 15, detectives went to Blair’s residence and spoke to her, which was quickly followed by the execution of a search warrant.
‘The search warrant revealed additional evidence, and our investigation grew larger as more parents and victims contacted us,’ said Sheriff Guy. ‘We were finally able to present the case to the Grand Jury on February 15, upon which the indictments were issued.’
A letter from Director of McMinn County Schools Lee Parkinson was also served, which banned her from school property or any school activities.
She turned herself in at the McMinn County Justice Center after the indictment came down Tuesday. She later posted a $100,000 bond and will appear in court on February 28.
During a press conference on Tuesday, District Attorney Steve Crump said there are likely more victims out there.
WTVC spoke with the mother of one of the victims, who said her family’s been devastated by Blair’s alleged conduct.
‘I cannot in words describe what it feels like to be going through what we’re going through right now,’ said the mother, who wished to remain anonymous for the protection of her child. ‘It is every emotion that you can imagine. And none of them happy.’
The mother confirmed to WTVC that her son was provided with items in exchange for the illicit encounters.
‘People focus mostly on the perpetrator, they don’t realize how it devastates a family,’ she added. ‘How the families are at home, and we don’t know what to do next. I have no idea how to go forward with this.’
Christie Teague is an Englewood resident and a mother of a McMinn Central High School student told the news outlet she feels for the families affected.
‘My heart just hurts for them, because I mean, I would be livid if it happened to my kids,’ Teague said.
Director of Schools Lee Parkison added that the schools will take measures to help the students through this. Pictured: McMinn Central High School in Englewood
Sheriff Joe Guy said in a press conference Tuesday that the alleged encounters happened from spring 2020 through late 2021 with students of McMinn Central High School
‘People focus mostly on the perpetrator, they don’t realize how it devastates a family,’ the mother of one of the victims said. ‘How the families are at home, and we don’t know what to do next. I have no idea how to go forward with this’
Teague said if there are other victims out there, she hopes they’ll come forward.
‘Parents need to talk to their kids to speak up. Because it’s not right. It’s just really, really not right,’ Teague said.
District Attorney General Steve Crump also encouraged students to come forward.
‘I want you to feel comfortable coming forward,’ he said Tuesday. ‘We encourage you to come forward and talk to us, to talk to these investigators, so that we can make the fullest amount of justice possible for the most amount of people.’
Director of Schools Lee Parkison added that the schools will take measures to help the students through this.
‘McMinn County Schools is open to helping these students and families with counseling,’ he said.
Blair posted $100,000 bond for her release this week. She has not yet entered a plea to the charges, but is scheduled to appear in court for her arraignment on February 28.