CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — A former teacher and weight-lifting coach at Oakleaf High School was taken into custody by Clay County deputies. The arrest occurred on Thu., Aug. 17 after an investigation uncovered multiple accusations of inappropriate touching of students and explicit text messaging.
Action News Jax obtained a Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrest report which says that Benjamin Davis White began to communicate via text messages to multiple students around Aug. 20, 2021.
The flirtatious texts went back and forth between a defendant through Nov. 2022. However, there was no information that any inappropriate lewd or sexual contact had taken place.
Upon further investigation, several other students, all between the ages of 15 and 17 years of age, reported being victims of White’s inappropriate texts while he was employed at Oakleaf High School. Numerous reports of inappropriate touching and conduct were also reported by students, “establishing a pattern of lewd and inappropriate conduct by the defendant,” the arrest report stated.
On Mar. 6, 2023, a detective with CCSO conducted an interview with White at Pedro Menendez High School, his current place of employment.
The detective asked White about the text messages he sent to students when he worked at Oakleaf High School. The arrest report also states that the detective questioned if White improperly touched any of the students. However, due to redacted portions of the report, Action News Jax does not have information on White’s responses.
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CCSO charged White with lewd lascivious behavior on a child. His bail was set at $100,003.
Below is an official statement from Clay County District Schools regarding White:
“After the employee’s resignation in February 2023 to accept a position with another school district, allegations came forth regarding the employee. Clay County District Schools’ Police Department and Human Resources Department immediately began an investigation on the former employee. The District will not be commenting further to ensure there is no disruption to the case and to protect the privacy of those involved.”
Action News Jax is learning more about this developing story. When more information is available this story will be updated.