A Licking Heights’ teacher’s aide was arrested this week, accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.
Mackenzee D. Webb, 26, of Pataskala, was arrested Thursday by Pataskala police and charged with one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony. Licking County court records show Webb was initially charged with one count of sexual battery and the complaint was amended to a tampering with evidence charge.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Licking County Common Pleas Court, Licking Heights High School reported a concern about a possible sexual relationship between a student and a teacher’s aide, who was identified as Webb.
A Pataskala police detective responded to the high school to interview Webb. He said she admitted to having sexual intercourse with her student multiple times between Dec. 31 and Jan. 12. Each incident allegedly happened in the parking lot of Licking Heights Middle School and the parking lot of a Pataskala church.
“The defendant provided her cell phone to (the detective) and admitted she erased messages on Instagram and messages on her cell phone between her and her student documenting the relationship between them,” the complaint said. “(The detective) inspected the phone and found text messages between them that were romantic in nature.”
The detective said he interviewed the student who allegedly admitted to the same incidents and confirmed the locations of each.
A grand jury will review the case for possible indictment and possible additional charges. If convicted, Webb faces up to 36 months in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
In a statement Friday, Licking Heights Local Schools Superintendent Philip Wagner said Webb’s employment is being terminated due to nature of the charges filed.
The district said school officials worked with Pataskala police regarding “allegations of an inappropriate relationship between an educational aide, who worked at our high school, and a student.” Citing the ongoing investigation, Wagner said he’s limited in the information the district can share.
When they learned of the allegations, he said the district immediately reached out to Pataskala police.
Wagner said the district is grateful to those who informed officials of the allegations, adding it’s consistent with their encouragement to students, staff and families to say something if they see something.
This article originally appeared on Newark Advocate: Licking Heights aide arrested accused of sexual relationship student