By Michael Eng | Managing Editor
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested a Plant City man July 17, for having sexual contact with a 17-year-old female.
According to Sheriff’s Office reports, Jeffrey Halle Jr., 32, an English teacher in the International Baccalaureate program at King High School, made the contact with the female, one of his students, on or about March 17, while she was enrolled in an after-school program supervised by Halle.
Halle and the victim made arrangements during normal school hours to meet in a vacant classroom during the program, the report said.
The parents of the victim knew Halle was their daughter’s teacher and that he was responsible for her during the after-school program.
Then, on July 10, Halle again made arrangements with the student via text messages to meet her at her home to engage in sexual intercourse. When Halle arrived to pick up the victim, Halle was confronted by the victim’s father. Halle left the residence. Detectives arrested Halle July 17.
Halle faces a first-degree felony sexual battery charge, a second-degree felony charge of traveling to meet a minor and a charge for prohibited use of computer services or devices.
In addition to teaching English, Halle was a faculty sponsor of King’s National Honor Society as well as its book and poetry clubs.
Halle began his career in the Hillsborough district in 2006 at Freedom High School. He later moved to Plant City High School and had been at King since 2009.
According to Sheriff’s Office documents, bond for the sexual battery charge is set for $75,000 and $7,500 each for the other two charges.
Halle was active in the First Baptist Church of Plant City, where he contributed to the music ministry, said Minister of Education/Administration Steve Morris.
“We don’t know very much at this point, and we have not had an opportunity to speak with Jeff,” Morris said. “If the things we are hearing are true, then obviously this is inconsistent with what we believe in the Christian faith.
“We do care very much for all of that family and anyone who may have been injured in this (incident),” he said. “We are grieving like everyone else. It is a shock to us all.”
Contact Michael Eng at email@example.com.