WOODBRIDGE, Va. – A Prince William County middle school teacher has been arrested and charged with sexual misconduct with two middle school students.
Investigators say 32-year-old Shannon Patterson has been charged with inappropriately touching a teen student and sending explicit text messages to another teen. Police say the activity had been going on for months.
Shannon Patterson was immediately yanked from the Prince William County school system, on leave without pay from Beville Middle School. At his home on Tuesday, no one was answering questions, but Prince William County Police are giving the details.
On Monday, police arrested the 32-year-old middle school teacher for sexual misconduct with two middle school students.
“I can’t release the specific numbers and times and locations, however he did have contact with the students more than one occasion. It happened with both students during same period,” said Prince William County Police Spokesperson Erika Hernandez.
Patterson is accused of inappropriately touching a 15 year old during the course of nearly a year dating back to last November. Since his arrest, police have also uncovered Patterson allegedly was ‘sexting’ with another 15 year old during the same period.
Police say it’s an ongoing investigation.
“It occurred in Prince William County and the contact did not occur during school hours or on school grounds. The detectives talked to him and interviewed him. If there is anybody else that believes or has doubts, please contact us,” said Hernandez.
Prince William County Schools will only say Patterson did undergo a criminal background check when he was hired in 2000.
While officials say none of it happened at school, Patterson did teach both students and allegedly reached out to them after school.
On August 17, warrants for the arrest of the teacher were obtained, charging him with taking indecent liberties by person in custodial/supervisor relationship and use of a communication system to facilitate certain offenses involving children.
On the same day, Patterson turned himself in to police and was held without bond. He will have a hearing in the juvenile and domestic relations court.
Prince William County Schools says it does not have a specific policy that bans teachers from texting students or a policy that forbids teachers from having contact with students outside the classroom. Rather, it has a broad ‘rules of conduct’ policy that expects teachers to act professionally, with integrity and as a role model– both in the workplace and in the community.