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Retired Teacher Charged in School Sex Battery

Miami (January 31, 2020) – As a result of a joint investigation by the Miami-Dade School Board Police Department and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, 30-year veteran Miami-Dade teacher, Tom Miller Privett, has been charged with one (1) count of Sexual Activity with a Child 12 Years of Age or Older by a Person in Custodial Authority. This arrest is related to alleged sexual contact with a student which started during March 2016 while Privett was teaching at the Terra Environmental Research Institute Magnet School in Miami-Dade County. Tom Miller Privett retired from the Miami-Dade Schools in 2017.

The victim’s initial interactions with Privett began in September 2012 during her 9th grade year in high school while Privett was her World History teacher. However, these contacts were non-sexual in nature during that time. While she was in 11th grade, Privett allegedly started to engage in sexual conversations with the victim, discussing his sexual desires and a range of blatantly sexual topics. Such conversations allegedly continued into the victim’s senior year of high school until March 8, 2016 when Privett allegedly asked the victim to meet him inside of his classroom after school. Once there, Privett locked the classroom door and placed his hand inside the victim’s underwear and began to touch her private parts. The following day in the same setting, Privett allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse and oral sex with the victim in his classroom. The victim further alleged that she and Privett engaged in sexual activity every day after school inside of Privett’s classroom for the next three months until the school year ended.

The 70-year-old Privett was taken into custody by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department this morning and is awaiting transportation back to Miami-Dade County. Presently, he has a no bond status. The investigation into this case continues to determine if there exist any additional potential victims who may contact our office at 305­547-0441.

“Every educator deserves to earn the trust and respect placed in them by students, parents and school administrators,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “When a teacher transforms from an esteemed educator to an alleged sexual predator, lives are permanently damaged, trust is betrayed, and a serious crime has been committed.”

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