A McMinn County, Tennessee, woman charged in February with 23 counts related to her alleged sexual contact with nine teenage boys has been indicted on additional counts involving nine more alleged victims.
Melissa A. Blair, 38, of Englewood, Tennessee, was previously indicted by the McMinn County grand jury on 23 criminal counts in her alleged contact with the first nine boys, all students at McMinn Central High School, including 18 counts of aggravated statutory rape, four counts of human trafficking by patronizing prostitution and one count of solicitation of a minor, court records show.
The youngest of the alleged victims in that indictment was 14 at the time, court records show.
Blair's only connection to local schools is as a parent of students, according to authorities. Blair until Tuesday was free on $100,000 bond and was under court orders issued in a Feb. 28 hearing to remain in her car when picking up her children and to otherwise avoid being on school property.
Now, Blair is additionally charged with 20 more counts related to nine new victims, McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy said Tuesday in a news release. Robert R. Kurtz, Blair's initial attorney in the case, is no longer listed as her lawyer, and no other lawyer is on record as her legal counsel, court officials said Wednesday when contacted by phone.
Blair is now held at the McMinn County Jail on a $1 million bond and faces arraignment on the new counts July 5, according to court officials.
The indictments from Tuesday's grand jury session include three counts of solicitation of a minor, four counts of soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor by electronic means, five counts of patronizing prostitution, six counts of aggravated statutory rape, sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual exploitation of a minor by electronic means, according to court records and officials.
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"Our investigation has continued over the past few months, in which additional victims were identified, and these cases were presented to the June grand jury today, which resulted in the present indictments against Melissa A. Blair," Guy said. "These new charges are related to nine new confirmed male juvenile victims, related to incidents which occurred from spring of 2020 through late 2021."
Records show the boys in the most recent counts were between 15 years old and 17 years old at the time the alleged criminal actions took place.
"It appears in these cases, as before, that Ms. Blair was communicating with the juveniles on social media, arranging meetings with them and trading items for sexual encounters with them," he said. "These latest nine victims, added to the nine victims previously discovered before the February grand jury, brings a total number of 18 male juvenile victims in this case."
Guy said a letter from McMinn County Director of Schools Lee Parkison served on Blair in December banning her from all county school properties or activities remains in effect. Parkison didn't immediately respond to a call Wednesday seeking comment on the case.
The investigation was launched Dec. 9 with a referral from the Tennessee Department of Children's Services that alleged Blair had been having sexual encounters with male juveniles who were students at the high school in the town of Englewood, in East McMinn County, according to authorities. Blair turned herself in on the charges the same day the first 23-count indictment was issued, records show.
Guy praised investigators' efforts and school officials' help.
"But most importantly we want to offer support and resources to the victims and their parents as we move forward," he said.
Those needing assistance or resources can contact the sheriff's office, the McMinn County Board of Education or the District Attorney General's Office, Guy said.
The sheriff"s office can reached at 423-745-3222, the school board is 423-745-1612 and the district attorney's office is 423-744-2830.
Contact Ben Benton at email@example.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.