Marion County teacher arrested in prostitution sting

FOX 35 News at 5

- A second-grade teacher in Marion County was not in class on Wednesday. Instead, Adrien Smith is behind bars, accused of trying to pick up a prostitute on a classified ad website.

Lauren Lettelier, with the Marion County Sheriff's Office said Smith, "solicited one of our undercover detectives on BackPage.com, went and met up with them to have sex for about $100."

Smith was one of a handful arrested in a prostitution sting on Friday.  Deputies said he called looking for an escort, but instead he got an undercover officer.  When the teacher showed up for the meeting along the 3800 block of SW College Road, he was busted.  Deputies said it's not every day they bust a teacher in something like this.

Lettelier said, "It certainly stands out. It certainly stands out like a sore thumb."

Smith is a teacher at Ocala's Fessenden Elementary School. The school district is in the middle of its own investigation to see if any school board policies were violated.  Kevin Christian, a spokesman for Marion County Schools, said Smith would not return to the classroom until their investigation is completed.

"That could be tomorrow, that could be Friday, it could be next week," he added.

The District sent FOX 35 Smith’s employment history. Smith's has been a teacher at Fessensen Elementary School since 2013. He was also an Assistant Principal at North Marion Middle in 2000 and at Dr. NH Jones Elementary in 2002.

Christian said, "The Sschool Board has the ultimate authority here. They can continue that person in the classroom, or terminate him." 

It could be weeks before the School Board makes a decision on what to do about Smith. 

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