Crime

Former Jacksonville teacher convicted of engaging in sexual activity with students

Corey M. French
Corey M. French Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

A former Jacksonville teacher pleaded guilty Thursday to engaging in sexual relations with two of his students, court records show.

Corey French, 31, will serve three years in state prison followed by another five of probation, according to his sentencing guidelines.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said they began investigating French in March 2018 when they were first notified of his relationship with two former Fletcher High School students. French was let go by the Duval County School District around that time.

An investigation into French revealed he had consensual sexual relations with both students during a six-month period in 2017, according to the sheriff’s office. French was 29 at the time of both encounters. The students were 16 and 17, the sheriff’s office said.

The former science teacher was aware of his illicit behavior, texting one of the students, “I’m literally under your thumb and I don’t want any more trouble than I’ve already caused,” his arrest report says.

French, who taught at Fletcher for four years, was arrested on unlawful sexual activity charges in September 2018. Court documents show that he withdrew his not guilty plea more than a year later.

Duval County School District superintendent Dr. Diana Greene released this statement after his sentencing:

As superintendent, I am angered that a person would use his position as an educator to harm children. I want parents to know that I have no tolerance for this kind of behavior, and that we will cooperate fully with external authorities to prosecute any person who is alleged to have harmed one of our students.

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.
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