A teacher at East Ridge High School in Clermont has been arrested on charges of battery following an investigation that began on May 1.
Lake County sheriff’s detectives began the investigation after former students of the school sent emails to the Lake County School District accusing Jason Robert Misner, a geometry and musical theater teacher, of engaging in inappropriate conduct with his students.
During the investigation, detectives interviewed witnesses who had been in Misner’s classes and were familiar with him. Some claimed they had observed Misner grab the buttocks of students. It also was alleged that Misner would engage in sexually explicit conversations with students, and one female who was interviewed claimed that he had offered to buy her underwear and give her a massage, a sheriff’s office report states.
The battery charges stem from one victim who stated that while she was 17 and was a student in Misner’s classes, he would allow her to use his vehicle and later began giving her singing lessons away from the school on Sundays. She claimed he would ask her about her sex life and eventually became physical with her, including allegedly touching her leg, buttocks, breasts and genital area, the report says.
Misner told detectives that he worked with the victim, both during and after school hours. He admitted to letting her use his vehicle and to touching the victim under her clothing during the vocal lessons as the victim described, claiming that such touching “was necessary to regulate and monitor her breathing during the sessions,” the report says.
Misner, who lives at 13328 Fountain Drive in Clermont, was taken into custody shortly after 1 p.m. Friday and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he was charged with 19 counts of simple battery. He was being held on $19,000 bond and is due to appear in a Lake County courtroom on May 28 at 8 a.m. to answer to the charges.
Due to the victim’s age, the allegations did not qualify under Florida Statutes as sex crimes, the report says.