Mark Hernandez. Contributed photo from Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

Mark Hernandez, 52, a former Hamilton County Schools teacher, was arrested by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office on Oct. 24 and is accused of sexual battery and solicitation of a student.

On Oct. 14, an HCSO detective spoke with the victim, a 14-year-old Central High School student who attended Brown Middle School last year.

The victim said last school year, she "entered into a relationship with her teacher, Mark Hernandez." 

Even after the school year ended and the student began the 2019-20 school year at Central, she said she would walk between Central and Brown Middle to meet with the teacher at school let out, according to the arrest report.

 The victim described an incident that occurred right before fall break this year in which states Herndez "kissed her on the mouth and grabbed her butt," according to the report.

Hernandez also allegedly gave the student a cellphone with his number already programmed into it, labeled "My Dude."

Hernandez sent the victim "sexually explicit" messages, including requesting the victim "sneak out of her house so the two could have sex," according to the report.

Hernandez was arrested on Thursday and charged with sexual battery by an authority figure and solicitation of a minor.

He had taught social studies and eighth grade history at Brown, but resigned from his position with the district shortly after fall break ended earlier this month, according to Hamilton County Schools spokesman Tim Hensley, in an email.

"Hamilton County Schools works in partnership with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office to provide the best possible learning environment for the children in our schools. Any situation that may result in a child not feeling safe and supports is counter to the values we hold dear as professional educators. The district will continue to work in cooperation with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office as they are in charge of the investigation," Hensley said in a statement.

Hernandez is at least the fourth Hamilton County teacher or administrator arrested this year.

Chandler Morris, 24, an Ooltewah High School teacher was charged with solicitation of a minor by the Chattanooga Police Department and resigned from his position with the district in August.

A new Tyner Academy assistant principal, Chatoris Jones was suspended after he was arrested and charged with a DUI and Bethany White, a former Hixson High School teacher resigned in July, and was later arrested on a charge of aggravated statutory rape.

White awaits trial, which is slated to begin in January 2020.

Contact Meghan Mangrum at or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.