A 23-year-old teacher and former Whitehaven High and Ole Miss football star has been arrested for sexual battery of a teenager, according to Memphis police.
Mark Dodson, a Shelby County Schools special education teacher and football coach at Havenview Middle, has been charged with sexual battery and sexual battery by an authority figure.
On Sunday, Dodson and a 13-year-old girl were found in a car by the girl’s mother, according to a police affidavit. Dodson was smoking marijuana and denied giving any to the girl.
The girl reportedly told police Dodson exposed himself and touched her inappropriately and that he behaved similarly in December 2017 when she attended Havenview Middle.
Dodson admitted to police he was smoking marijuana and sitting with the 13-year-old in his red Chevy Camaro, according to the affidavit. He denied touching the girl in any way.
SCS said in an emailed statement that Dodson is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
“We are aware of the recent allegations against a Havenview Middle School employee and have taken all appropriate actions to notify security, law enforcement and district officials immediately after we were informed,” the statement said.
The school district said an initial report was made to school administrators concerning allegations of an “off-campus incident involving drug use,” but did not say when those allegations were made.
“We took all appropriate actions to notify security, law enforcement and district officials once we were informed of the allegations,” the email said. “Since then, we’ve learned that a separate police report was filed against the employee that included additional allegations dating back to last year. SCS was not previously made aware of these allegations in the initial report.”
“There are no previous reports of incidents of any matter related to this employee.”
Dodson was the 2012 Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year after leading Whitehaven to a 15-0 record and a state title. He rushed for 249 yards and four touchdowns for the Rebels in 2014 before briefly transferring to the University of Memphis.
He is being held on $15,000 bond and will be arraigned on Thursday.