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 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 sheriffs 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.
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, indicating Blair had been having sexual encounters with male juveniles at McMinn Central High School.
An investigation began immediately, and as interviews progressed, additional information came to light, as well as other 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 the 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.
WTVC spoke with the mother of one of the victims, who said her family’d 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.