Mihirbhai Patel solicited the male student online.
By Raif Karerat
An Indian American substitute teacher in Indiana has been arrested after paying to solicit sex from a teenage student.
The incidents occurred over the summer, when Mihirbhai Patel, 24, of Franklin, Ind. met the teenage boy on a website, according to the charging documents. Patel then paid $150 and $250 to engage in a sexual tryst at a Whiteland area motel and then again at the home of one of the boy’s relatives.
Patel has been charged with patronizing a prostitute, which is a misdemeanor offense.
A teen older than age of 16 can consent to sexual activity under Indiana state law, so Patel is not facing charges for sex with a minor, Prosecutor Brad Cooper said, according to local news outlets.
Per court documents, police began investigating after school officials called in September, saying they had been told that a substitute teacher had solicited a student.
A student who spoke with Franklin Community High School’s dean of students had expressed concerns about Patel, which led to school officials calling the police.
When officers interviewed the student, he told police he and Patel had met online in June or July, but he hadn’t known Patel’s name, local news site the Daily Journal. He identified Patel in a photo lineup and told police he was a substitute at his school.
He has since been released from the Johnson County Jail on $250 bond, reported WISH-TV.
Superintendent David Clendening told the Daily Journal 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.