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Charlotte High School teacher facing sexual battery charges

A teacher is facing charges for sexual battery and police say the crime happened at Charlotte High School.

That teacher, Brendan Toop, just bonded out of jail earlier Friday afternoon.

Police say Toop first had a sexual encounter with a 17-year-old student in 2017 inside of his classroom in Charlotte High School, and she may not be the only one.

“You kind of throw your hands up in the air like, here we go again,” said DeSoto County teacher, Christina Solinger.

She’s disappointed in the news of the charges against Toop, who turned himself in to the Charlotte County Jail early Friday. He is charged with sexual battery on a minor.

Police say they are working with the student who said she had a sexual encounter with Toop in 2017 but learned of another student who doesn’t want to press charges and a possible third victim.

“When someone does this, it makes the community and the parents more distrustful of teachers,” said Solinger.

“It’s hard to imagine how it would happen on school grounds,” said Kathy Simonson of Punta Gorda.

Charlotte County Public Schools’ website lists Toop as a government and economics teacher, licensed by the Florida Department of Education since 2005.

“Someone could have a great record and put up a false front that no one can find out,” said Solinger.

“It’s all on the teacher and never on the student,” Simonson said.

The news opened the eyes of parents and alarmed the community.

“It breaks my heart to hear that in this beautiful location, there are evil people like that are next to us, living here next to us,” Solinger said.

Toop is out of jail on a $150,000 bond. Charlotte County Public Schools says any time law enforcement steps in, they take over and wouldn’t comment otherwise. We reached out to Toop, but haven’t heard back.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Briana Harvath
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