Tennessee Mom at Center of a 'Difficult and Shocking' Case

Melissa Blair is accused of trading items like vape pens to teen boys for sexual favors
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2022 11:42 AM CST

A Tennessee mom who was an active parent at a local school is accused of being a little too active, allegedly trading items to teen boys for sexual favors. Law & Crime reports that 38-year-old Melissa Blair has been indicted for charges including statutory rape, after allegedly making contact with at least nine underage boys online for what McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy describes in a release as "sexual encounters." Per the sheriff, the state's Children's Services agency received a tip on Dec. 9 that Blair had been having such encounters with minors, said to be students at McMinn Central High School, after contacting them on social media. A search warrant was executed at Blair's residence on Dec. 15, a probe that "revealed additional evidence," Guy says.

WTVC reports Blair has never been an employee at the school, but a school official says she had a child who used to go there before being transferred, and that Blair had been involved with the booster club. The outlet, which reports the alleged victims were between the ages of 14 and 17, spoke to the mother of one of the boys, who says vape pens were among the items offered by Blair to her son. She notes that her family has been "devastated," adding, "People focus mostly on the perpetrator. They don't realize how ... we don't know what to do next." Another mom of a student who wasn't involved in the case tells WZTV that she'd be "livid" if it happened to her kids, noting of the victims and their families, "My heart just hurts for them."

Guy, who says two of the alleged victims are now adults, says "there may possibly be other victims who are now adults, and we also encourage them to contact us." He adds: "This type of case is difficult and shocking even to seasoned detectives." Blair—who's been charged with 18 counts of aggravated statutory rape, four counts of human trafficking by patronizing prostitution, and one count of solicitation of a minor—posted a $100,000 bond Tuesday night after turning herself in and was released from detention. Per the conditions of Blair's bond, she can't contact her alleged victims or go on school property. Her next court hearing is set for Feb. 28. (More statutory rape stories.)

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