FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Big trouble for a 19-year-old teacher’s aide in Fayette County. Police there arrested her on a charge of statutory rape of a 14-year-old boy. Shaniya Cotton was taken into custody at Fayetteville Elementary School last Friday.
Fayetteville Police said Cotton met and carried on the relationship at an apartment complex in Fayette County. School officials wanted to alert parents that what she is accused of had nothing to do with her duties at the school.
Still, parent Sara Upchurch told FOX 5 News: “I am speechless. That’s terrible.”
“She only worked with students in after school,” spokeswoman Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said. “We did send a letter home to only the after school parents letting them know that she had been arrested and also clarifying it had nothing to do with students there at the after-school program or at the school in general.”
Fayetteville Police said the boy was not a student at Fayetteville Elementary and the relationship between Cotton at the 14-year-old occurred at the Addison on Cobblestone apartments, sometimes in the complex fitness center.
The relationship came to light when the boy’s mother notified police of what she had found on her son’s smartphone.
“Police say Cotton went so far as to give the 14-year-old another cell phone so she could continue the relationship with him after the mother refused to give her son’s phone back to him,” said Ann Marie Burdett of Fayetteville Police.
Police arrested Cotton at the school. She’s been terminated according to the school spokeswoman.
Fayetteville Police encouraged parents to stay on top of their children’s smartphone and social media use.