#teacher | Venice middle school teacher sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing underage students – News – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Matthew Minton, 27, was arrested by Venice Police in January 2017 for sexually abusing one of his students, but subsequent investigations revealed more than one student.

A former Island Village Montessori middle school teacher was sentenced to 30 years in prison Friday for sexually abusing underage students, according to a news release issued by the State Attorney’s Office.

Matthew James Minton, 27, entered a plea on Oct. 18, 2019, to three counts of sexual battery on a person over 12 years of age but under 18 by a person in custodial authority, one count of lewd or lascivious molestation of a child over 12 years of age but less than 16, and one count of prohibited use of a computer with a child, according to the State Attorney’s Office.

He was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison followed by a lifetime sex offender probation. He was also designated a sexual predator and will have to comply with those registration requirements upon release from prison.

Minton was arrested in January 2017 after Venice Police executed a search warrant at his home in the 1400 block of Strata D’Oro in Venice and was charged with sexual battery against one of his female students on school grounds.

But subsequent investigations revealed that Minton abused two of his students on multiple occasions over many months, according to the State Attorney’s Office. At least some of the acts took place on school grounds, according to Venice Police.

“Minton had the opportunity as a teacher to help students, but instead chose to exploit the students’ vulnerabilities to satisfy his own sexual needs,” said Assistant State Attorney Brooke Kernan, who was prosecutor in the case, according to a news release from the State Attorney’s Office.

Island Village Montessori School is a public charter school with grades K-12, with campuses in Venice and Sarasota.

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