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Woman Charged With 18 Counts Of Rape For Allegedly Exchanging Vape Pens For Sexual Favors With Teens

Melissa Blair mugshot

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

Police have arrested a Tennessee woman on 23 individual criminal counts for allegedly having sex with nine high school-aged boys, whom she allegedly provided gifts — including vape pens — in exchange for sexual favors.

According to a press release from the McMinn County Sheriff’s Office, Melissa Blair (pictured above) has been indicted on 18 counts of aggravated statutory rape, four counts of human trafficking by patronizing prostitution, and one count of forfeiture of personal property.

KWTV reports that the boys attended McMinn Central High School in Englewood and were between the ages of 14 and 17 at the time of the alleged incidents occurring from Spring 2020 to late 2021. 7 of the victims are still minors, and two were victimized as minors but are now adults, according to the press release.

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During a press conference on Wednesday, McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy said the 38-year-old suspect was communicating with the nine victims “on social media,” where she “arrang[ed] meetings with them.” The department first became aware of the alleged offenses just over two months ago, receiving a referral from the Tennessee Department of Child Services on December 9th, 2021 about Blair’s alleged sexual encounters with high school boys after an anonymous letter was put into the office of the Director of McMinn County schools.

More parents and victims contacted the Sheriff’s Office after a referral from the Department of Children’s Services, prompting investigators to search Blair’s home. Authorities cuffed and booked Blair at the McMinn County Justice Center Tuesday afternoon after willingly turning herself in.

The department suspects there may be more victims who were minors at the time but are now adults. District Attorney Steve Crump told press:

“It is inevitable that there are other victims, but we also understand you may be worried about your privacy. We want to make the fullest amount of justice possible.”

Blair posted a $100,000 bond for her release on Tuesday night. The terms of the bond bar her from having contact with any of the victims, and from setting foot on any school property.

While speaking with KWTV, the mother of one of the victims said her family’s been devastated by Blair’s alleged conduct, sharing:

“I cannot in words describe what it feels like to be going through what we’re going through right now. It is every emotion that you can imagine. And none of them happy.”

She confirmed her son was provided with items in exchange for the illicit encounters.

Blair has yet to enter pleas to the charges, but will likely be asked to on February 28, when she appears in court for her arraignment.

[Image via McMinn County Sheriff’s Office]

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Feb 17, 2022 15:35pm PDT