An Inverness woman who was a substitute teacher at Citrus High School was arrested Wednesday night, accused of sexually battering one student and sending inappropriate photos to two more.
Citrus County School District officials Thursday morning fired 50-year-old Angela Cone-Stanton after learning the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office charged her Wednesday night with transmitting harmful materials to minors and lewd and lascivious battery on a child between 12 and 16 years old, according to a school district news release.
Cone-Stanton was hired by the school district Jan. 3, 2019, as a short-term substitute teacher in Citrus High School's athletics programs, according to the school district and sheriff's office.
A high school administrator reported Cone-Stanton to the Florida Department of Children and Families, the sheriff’s office and school district after learning of the allegations Tuesday, according to the school district.
According to the sheriff's office, one victim told deputies on Wednesday that Cone-Stanton sent him partially nude photos of herself via text message. Two others said she sent them fully nude photos via Snapchat during the summer of 2018.
One victim who received Snapchat photos also reported that Cone-Stanton visited his home last year and performed a sex act on him. He said he was 15 years old at the time.
Cone-Stanton corroborated some of her alleged victims' allegations in an interview Wednesday with detectives, and was arrested afterwards, according to the sheriff's office.
“This is an unfortunate and sad situation,” Superintendent Sandra “Sam” Himmel said in a release posted to the school district’s Facebook page. “However, there is no reason to believe that any inappropriate behavior with our students occurred on any of our school campuses.”
Cone-Stanton's bond was set at $12,000, and she was barred from school campuses, according to the sheriff's office and school district.
She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted as charged on the third- and second-degree felonies.
Cone-Stanton was involved in the Inverness Storm cheerleading and football organization, Storm cheer commissioner Sandi Watson said Thursday.
“Her affiliation with Inverness Storm prior to this happening last night was she was the vice president,” Watson said. “She has been removed from all Pop Warner roles.”
Sheriff Mike Prendergast said Thursday in a press release the sheriff's office was continuing to investigate the case.
“Stanton was a trusted community member who was heavily involved in activities working with our county's youth. She used her position to prey on the vulnerability of our children," Prendergast said.
"No parent should ever have to worry about their child being victimized like this; especially from someone they viewed as a mentor,” Prendergast’s statement continued. “We will continue to work with the Citrus County School Board to determine if there are any additional victims."
Those with any additional information about the case, or who have been victimized by Cone-Stanton, can contact Special Victims Unit Sgt. Stephen Conley by calling 352-249-2718 or emailing email@example.com.