Florida middle school teacher accused of sex with student arrested again on similar charges, deputies say

Source: Unsplash; OKaloosa County Jail

Apr. 15 2021, Published 8:43 p.m. ET

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A Florida middle school teacher and soccer coach who was recently arrested for having a relationship with a student has again been accused of a similar crime in another county.

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On April 13, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office arrested Hayley Close-Hallmark, 35, on a charge of sexual battery of a victim under 18, Pensacola’s WEAR-TV reported.  

The alleged incident happened in January 2019, but authorities have not released further details about the case.

She is being held without bond at the Okaloosa County Jail, according to online records.

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Close-Hallmark was previously taken into custody last February and charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a student by an authority figure, according to the television station


In the earlier incident, the Ruckel Middle School teacher allegedly carried on a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old victim from August 2018 through August 2020. 

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The victim allegedly told investigators she began communicating with Close-Hallmark via text in eighth grade, which then turned into sexting the following year. Their relationship continued to escalate and eventually became physical. 

Authorities first learned about the alleged abuse after the victim confided in one of her teachers at Niceville High School. 

After the incident, Okaloosa County Superintendent of Schools Marcus Chambers insisted in a statement that teachers must “represent the highest standard of professionalism, ethics, and morality.”

“When an educator fails to live up to that high standard, we’re all impacted,” he noted. “Student safety and well-being is our highest priority, and we expect our employees’ conduct to be consistent with that priority.”


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