Teacher's aide accused of sending inappropriate messages to teen

Published: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 6:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 7, 2013 at 6:38 p.m.

OCALA -- A teacher's aide accused of sending inappropriate messages to a juvenile was arrested Friday by an Ocala police detective.

Authorities said Christopher A. Votos, 58, a teacher's aide at Fort King Middle School, was suspended from his job once the allegation surfaced. Released on $5,000 bond from the Marion County Jail at 1:10 a.m. Saturday, Votos declined to comment.

A woman, who called saying she was Votos' wife but wouldn't give her name, told a reporter that Votos has been a teacher's aide for four years and that he's on temporary administrative leave until the case is resolved.

The woman said she blamed the teenager involved for stalking her husband and she said that his side of the story will come out in court, adding "if it ever goes that far."

"He's devastated," she said.

After being notified about the allegation, Detective Jorge Fernandez interviewed the minor, age 15, and she told him she has been texting Votos since last year and he has bought her MP3 players, clothing and food during their friendship.

The teen told Fernandez they kissed and texted each other. In one of the text messages, the two were supposed to meet for sex, but they never did, she told police.

The woman who said she was Votos' wife argued that her husband was trying to show the teen that what she wanted to do was wrong.

"He was trying to show her how wrong it was," she said.

Fernandez interviewed Votos at the police department. Authorities said Votos told the detective the teen finished at the middle school and left the state, yet they still kept in contact with each other.

Votos said the teen was being inappropriate with him by caressing his arm and hanging on his shoulders. He also said she told him personal things about her life and that she loved him.

At first, he said, he declined to give her his personal number, but he later gave it to her.

He admitted to buying her several MP3 players, clothing and food, police said.

In regard to the text messages about them having sex, Votos said he played along because he wanted to see who was behind the text. He also told the detective that he would have felt bad if he had had sex with her.

Officials took Votos to the jail and arrested him on charges of inappropriate use of computer services or devices.

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