MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A math teacher at Kirby High School is charged with Statutory Rape stemming from a reported relationship with a 17-year-old student.
26-year-old Justin Bolden is accused of having sexual relations with the teen after starting a relationship with her in October 2011. School officials opened an investigation into the allegations in January, but the relationship could not be confirmed until new information became available in recent weeks.
Police state that phone records show numerous calls and text messages between the two, and the victim admitted to a sexual relationship with Bolden. According to the police affidavit, Bolden declined to speak to the charges.
Cedric Crawford, a sophomore at Kirby, says the claims are hard to believe.
“I wouldn't think he would do something like that. He seemed like a cool teacher,” Crawford said.
According to Police, Bolden asked the girl for her phone number in October. A steady stream of phone calls and text messages soon followed. Police say the two had sex a month later.
We stopped by Bolden's last known address in southeast Memphis but no one came to the door.
One neighbor said Bolden moved months ago. Others, like Elvira Bolton-Sader, believe someone dropped the ball.
“I fault the system for not investigating their background as far as making sure that they have the proper facilitators to teach the children," Bolton-Sader said.
“It's not the first time and until they really start giving them some real time or doing something to them, they're going to continue to do it,” said James Johnson.
Justin Bolden was arrested and charged with Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure. He has since been released on $10,000 bond. He’s due in court in July.
If convicted, the most time he'll spend behind bars is 15 years. Most likely, it would be no more than six.