Police: Man paid student for sex

A former substitute teacher at Franklin Community High School has been arrested after police said he paid money for sex with a teen.

The incidents happened during the summer, when Mihirbhai Patel, 24, Franklin, met the teenage boy on a website, according to charging documents. The two arranged to meet for sex at a Whiteland area motel and then again at the home of a relative of the boy, charging documents said.

Patel has been charged with patronizing a prostitute, a misdemeanor.

The teen is between 16 and 18, according to the prosecutor’s office. A teen older than age of 16 can consent to sexual activity under state law, so Patel would not face charges for sex with a minor, Prosecutor Brad Cooper said.

Police began investigating after school officials called in September, saying they had been told that a substitute teacher had solicited a student, the charging documents said.

A student talked to the high school dean of students, expressing concerns about Patel, Franklin Schools Superintendent David Clendening said. School officials called the Franklin Police Department.

The day police were called was the last day Patel was a part of the district’s substitute teacher program, Clendening said. Since he was a substitute, Patel did not have a contract with the school district, but his school account as a substitute was terminated. Prior to then, Patel could have been a substitute teacher in any of the schools, Clendening said.

Clendening said he did not know if Patel had a teaching license, but that he had been signed up as a substitute teacher with Franklin for less than a year. Before Patel was hired, a full background check was done and nothing was found, Clendening said.

A few days after police were contacted by the school, an officer interviewed the student.

The teen told police he and Patel had met online in June or July, but he hadn’t known Patel’s name, according to charging documents. He identified him in a photo lineup and told police he was a substitute at his school, the documents said.

Both times, the two arranged to meet, and Patel agreed to pay the teen for sex. They met at a motel first, and Patel paid the teen $150. They met up again at the teen’s relative’s home east of Franklin, and Patel paid the teen $200 for sex, the charging documents said.

Patel was charged this week, and a warrant for his arrest was issued Wednesday.

Patel, 2250 Cedarmill Drive, Franklin, was arrested Thursday and was released from the Johnson County jail the same day on $250 bond.