Teacher resigns, faces child seduction charge


BLUFFTON, Ind. (WANE) – A Bluffton High School teacher has resigned and is facing a felony child seduction charge after police say he admitted to having sexual relations with a then 17-year-old female student.

The Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District sent out a release about the investigation and resignation on Wednesday. According to the release, administrators were made aware of the allegations against math teacher Joshua Clark, 39, at approximately 10:15 a.m. on Friday, August 22.

Police Chief Nathan Huss of the Bluffton Police Department told NewsChannel 15 that a student had come forward earlier that morning with accusations about the 17-year-old having sex with Clark. A police report details the chain of events that led up to Clark’s arrest.

According to the report, the student came to Principal Steve Baker’s office to tell him that another student had confided to her that she had sex with Clark in his classroom the previous day, Thursday, August 21.  She also told Baker that the same student had also had sexual relations with Clark in June.  The report goes on to state that Baker then checked surveillance video which showed Clark entering his classroom Thursday at 6:24 a.m. followed at 6:31 a.m. by the student Baker had just been told about.  The student came out of the classroom at 7:12 a.m and went back in at 7:13 a.m.

Bluffton High School

See the full release from the school district here.

Baker immediately notified Superintendent Wayne Barker who then notified Police Chief Huss and asked for an investigation into the allegations.  A detective with the Bluffton Police Department and a detective with the Wells County Sheriff’s Department headed up the investigation

One of the detectives asked Baker for the phone number of the mother of the student who had come forward so they could speak to both of them at the Bluffton Police Department.  Once at the police department, the detectives were told by the student that the girl she accused of having relations with Clark had told her that she had done something “really bad.”   The student told the detectives she had suspected it was Clark because he has “always been really touchy” with girls.  The student also told the detectives that the other student had told her that Clark sent messages telling he loved her every night from his iPad.

At about 2 p.m. on Friday, the two detectives interviewed the student in question at Bluffton High School.  She told them that she had been close to Clark for years, but that nothing had become sexual until after she had turned 18.  She admitted to having oral sex the day before.  The police report indicates the student then refused to make a written statement, became argumentative and stormed out of the room.

The detectives then asked to speak with Clark in Principal Baker’s office where he agreed to be interviewed at the Bluffton Police Department.  During the interview, Clark admitted to having sexual relations with the student in his office the day before.  He also told them that the sexual relationship started prior to the student turning 18 in July and that he knew it was against the law.  Clark also told them there were no longer any messages to the student on his iPad or laptop because he deleted them regularly.  The detectives told Clark they would ask for a warrant to be issued for his arrest

Clark tendered his resignation Friday afternoon at about 4:30. He had been hired as a math teacher in June 2011. and also served as assistant football coach, assistant track coach and weight room coordinator.

“I am not at liberty to discuss the details of the police investigation; however, I am deeply saddened by the events of this situation. Bluffton-Harrison Schools is committed to providing a safe school environment for everyone.” Superintendent Baker said.

Clark turned himself in Tuesday evening at the Wells County Jail after the warrant was issued on a class C felony charge of child seduction. Clark has since bonded out and will be in court for an initial hearing on Thursday.

Police told NewsChannel 15’s Adam Widener that no laws would have been broken if the relationship had started after she had turned 18, although Baker could still have possibly faced administrative action by the school district.

NewsChannel 15 will update this article if more information is learned.

 

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