As a school superintendent, it is one of the things you never want to hear -- one of your teachers was arrested and charged with sexual battery involving one of his students.
"It's a tough time," said Sharon Mastroianni, superintendent at EHOVE Career Center. "We are a people business and people make mistakes."
Michael Edwards, 47, of Huron, was arrested Thursday and taken into custody by Erie County sheriff's deputies at his residence, said Chief Deputy Jared Oliver.
The alleged victim was a 17-year-old girl who is a student at the school, Oliver said.
"Detectives had received information there was an ongoing sexual relationship with the student," Oliver said. "Detectives determined there was probable cause after a preliminary investigation and arrested Edwards on the sexual battery charge, which is a felony of the third degree."
The case will be presented to an Erie County grand jury.
"Obviously, we are working with the local law enforcement and children services," Mastroianni said.
"As far as employment, Chef Edwards is on paid leave. There is due process that has to be followed. Right now we are looking at all of the facts and the board will determine how we move forward."
Mastroianni knew the arrest was coming.
"The school actually tipped off the authorities," she said. "Information came to us. It's devastating news when the teacher/student trust has been broken."
Mastroianni said it is a difficult time for everybody at the school and it's important to move forward.
"Of course, we don't want this incident to reflect on what we truly believe at EHOVE that students and staff are safe as they are receiving top-notch career technical training," said.
Erie County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Dennis Papineau provided more details Friday.
Papineau said there was a second juvenile girl who Edwards pursued through text messaging, but that girl declined his advances.
"These events took place last school year," Papineau said. "There was nothing this year."
Papineau said the encounters took place at multiple locations in Erie County.
Edwards appeared at an arraignment Friday at Erie County Municipal Court in Milan and had his bond set at $30,000, Papineau said.
He remains in custody at the Erie County Jail.
Once the case is presented to a grand jury, additional charges could be filed, he added.
"He was extremely cooperative," Papineau said about Edwards' arrest.
Papineau said the detective bureau often handles sex-related cases.
"But, with teachers and students, no," he added.
Papineau said the relationship between Edwards and the victim began with texting and then escalated into the physical realm.
"It was consensual," he added.