Prince William teacher charged with taking indecent liberties with student, 16

A 27-year-old Prince William County English teacher at Gar-Field High School is accused of taking indecent liberties with a 16-year-old male student over the course of a year, Prince William police said.

The allegations were revealed Friday, said Officer Jonathan L. Perok, a police spokesman. Another teacher at the Woodbridge school confiscated the student’s cellphone for an alleged infraction and discovered messages that prompted that teacher to call in police assigned to the school with concerns about inappropriate sexual contacts.

Teacher Tina Marie Amato, of the 400 block of White Oak Road in Fredericksburg, is charged with two counts of indecent liberties by a custodian, crimes against nature and use of a communications system to facilitate certain offenses, police said.

Amato has been a full-time teacher at the school since fall 2008, said Ken Blackstone, spokesman for Prince William school system.

Amato is on administrative leave without pay, he said.

Blackstone said the district would notify parents about the arrest. He could not comment directly on the student reported to be involved with Amato but said the district generally offers counseling to students and does other assessments on an individual basis to help a student’s health and well-being.

Amato faces a May 25 court hearing.

Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

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