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Instructional assistant at Pendleton high school arrested on child seduction charges

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Posted at 7:48 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 19:48:58-05

PENDLETON — An instructional assistant at Pendleton Heights High School was arrested Friday following an investigation into allegations he was involved in inappropriate conduct with a student.

According to Madison County jail records, Pendleton police arrested Joseph Patton, 26, of Pendleton, on Friday on suspicion of sexual misconduct with a minor/statutory rape and suspicion of child solicitation. Jail records indicate Patton posted a $20,000 cash bond and was later released.

Formal charges have not been filed by the Madison County Prosecutor's Office, according to a search of court records.

Dr. Mark Hall, superintendent of the South Madison Community School Corporation, said in a statement that the district was informed of the arrest by the Pendleton Police Department.

"Mr. Patton is an instructional assistant at Pendleton Heights High School as part of the Hamilton-Boone-Madison Special Services Cooperative," Hall said in the statement. "Safety is our top priority and we take claims of this nature very seriously."

According to the district's statement, the alleged incident took place off school property in 2018.

"When we learned of this allegation, we immediately removed the instructional assistant from contact with students and have been working closely with the Pendleton Police to support their investigation," the statement reads.

Read the full statement released by Dr. Mark Hall:

The Pendleton Police Department (PPD) has notified us that Joseph Patton has been arrested regarding an incident involving alleged inappropriate conduct with a student. Mr. Patton is an instructional assistant at Pendleton Heights High School as part of the Hamilton-Boone-Madison Special Services Cooperative. Safety is our top priority and we take claims of this nature very seriously.

The alleged incident took place off school property in 2018. When we learned of this allegation, we immediately removed the instructional assistant from contact with students and have been working closely with the Pendleton Police to support their investigation.

We encourage parents to discuss with their children appropriate adult behavior and to ask children to notify you and the school administration immediately should they see any signs of inappropriate behavior between a staff member and a student. Our school counselors are available as a resource for students or parents who feel they need support regarding this issue.

We have zero-tolerance for inappropriate behavior of this nature. It is hurtful to student victims and our community and detracts from the outstanding, respectable educators we have at South Madison Schools. We will continue our internal focus on this issue, as nothing is more important than keeping our students safe.