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Police: Palm Beach County teacher asked 16-year-old student for sex

Posted at 2:09 PM, Feb 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 17:36:35-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Police say a Palm Beach County teacher is under arrest and accused of asking an underage student if she wanted to have sex with him.

According to his arrest report, 51-year-old Dean James is a vocational and business education teacher.

A 16-year-old student told police James kept her after class around 12:15 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2019 and asked her, "Do you want to have sex with me?"

The student said she responded, "No."

The teen claimed James then touched her shoulder, so she slapped it away and left the classroom.

According to the arrest report, the 16-year-old said she was uncomfortable talking with James because of comments he had made toward her in the past, so she recorded their conversation on her phone.

A detective with the Palm Beach County School District Police Department said he listened to the recording and could hear James asking the student, "Do you want me to touch you?"

James could then be heard apologizing and saying, "I shouldn't have said that, I'm sorry," the arrest report said.

When police interviewed James on Nov. 22, he told them the student has a discipline problem and "he has been planning to have her removed from his class because she yells out, dances around, twerks, facetimes her boyfriend, as well as other disruptive behaviors."

According to his arrest report, when police asked James what his intent was by asking her, "Do you want to have sex?" James said "he was trying to warn her [REDACTED] about her behavior. He said he was not trying to be with her, he was asking her why she was behaving the way she was. He said he was trying to understand if she was trying to have sex with him."

James claimed he never touched or put his hands on the student.

Police said James later admitted that he was becoming attracted to the 16-year-old, and she was attracted to him.

"He admitted that he was attracted to her, and asked her if she wanted to have sex. He admitted that he thought about meeting with her outside of school for dinner and that he asked her if she wanted to do that," the arrest report stated.

According to the arrest report, James called the student up to his desk a week earlier and asked her out to dinner, and also asked her where she lived.

Then on Nov. 18, James said to the teen, "You're getting fat, what you been doing? Have you been having sex?" the arrest report said.

Following months of investigation, school district police determined that "Dean James solicited the victim for sexual conduct, for a relationship of a romantic nature, and for lewd conduct."

James was arrested and booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Wednesday for an offense against a student by an authority figure. He bonded out of jail hours later.

The School District of Palm Beach County said James has been employed with the district since Feb. 14, 2018.

A spokesperson said he was reassigned to a position in the district back in November that does not involve any contact with children.