Teacher arrested on lewd battery

LAKELAND — A Polk County women who teaches at a local middle school just got arrested after being charged with lewd battery on a juvenile, following allegations that the teacher performed oral sex on the boy.

Leslie Bushart, 49, of Lakeland, was arrested on Thursday by detectives from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Brian Bruchey, public information officer for the sheriff’s office, noted that Bushart, a teacher from Lakeland’s Lake Gibson Middle School, was taken into custody after “it was discovered that she had sexual relations with a juvenile.”

She now faces charges of Lewd Battery, a second degree felony, and was booked into the Polk County Jail.

Why Was The Teacher Taken Into Custody?

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said this was a serious case and that the teacher confessed to the crime.

“Leslie Bushart victimized a teenage boy,” Judd said. “She betrayed her profession, as well as her friends, during what was supposed to be a very special day.”

The sheriff’s office also noted that Bushart has been a teacher for nearly 30 years.

Bruchey noted in his report that this investigation started on June 16 when the boy’s parents contacted the sheriff’s office to report an incident that happened on June 6 during a graduation party for the boy’s older sister.

“According to the arrest affidavit, Bushart told another person at that party that she had just performed oral sex on the teenage victim,” Bruchey noted. “That person then informed the mother of the victim. The mother confronted Bushart, who then quickly left the party.”

Bruchey added that Bushart “later reached out to the victim’s mother via Facebook Messenger and tried to rationalize her behavior by saying she was drunk at the party.”

After detectives cointacted Bushart, “she confessed to the crime,” Bruchey reported. “She told them that she and the boy walked away from the crowd together and she attempted to smoke marijuana, but was so drunk that she couldn’t get it lit. At that point she began performing oral sex on the victim.”

Judd said the entire community suffers when teachers act in this way.

“There is technically one victim in this case, but the entire family and school community have suffered from this,” the sheriff said.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book When I Woke Up, You Were All Dead. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

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