Mom Indicted on 18 Child Rape Charges Makes Bail

On February 15, a 38-year-old Tennessee mom identified as Melissa Blair was released on $100,000 bail after she was charged with at least 18 counts of statutory aggravated rape. According to News 9, Blair’s victims were male students at McMinn Central High School.

According to McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy, he believes there are even more victims out there. In addition to the 18 counts of rape against her, Blair was also charged with 1 count of solicitation of a person under 18 years of age, 4 counts of patronizing prostitution, and 1 count of forfeiture of personal property. All of which are felonies.

According to the Director of McMinn County School, it was an anonymous letter that prompted an investigation into Blair’s behavior to begin. “I wanna thank that person for the anonymous letter. Without them this might still be going on,” the director said.

Following an internal investigation, the McMinn County Sheriff’s Office received the investigation in December 2021.

In a statement given to reporter Eric Benninghoff, a mother of one of the victims said her family is devastated after learning what her child had endured at the hands of Blair. 

“We are devastated at this point. I cannot in words describe what it feels like to be going through what we’re going through right now. It is every emotion that you can imagine. And none of them happy.”

Mom Indicted on 18 Child Rape Charges Makes Bail

According to News 9, Blair never held a position of authority at McMinn Central High School, but she was a member of the booster club and is the mother of a child who used to attend the high school until they were transferred. Why Blair’s child was transferred is unclear.

However, it is known that Blair used social media to arrange meetings with her victims, and traded “items for sexual encounters with them,” Sheriff Guy revealed.

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In his statement, the sheriff said the incidents began in the Spring of 2020 and continued into late 2021. Of the 9 known victims, 7 are still minors, while two were minors when these heinous crimes took place but are now adults. District Attorney Steve Crump believes this may be the case for more victims out there who have not yet come forward.

“It is inevitable that there are other victims, but we also understand you may be worried about your privacy,” Crump said. “We want to make the fullest amount of justice possible.”

Blair is expected to make her first court appearance on February 28th.

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