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Sexting Investigation Raises Questions about Communication Gap

A Memphis mom says a Memphis City Schools security guard "sexted" her underage daughter, and she says he almost got away scot-free.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A Memphis mom says a Memphis City Schools security guard "sexted" her underage daughter, and she says he almost got away scot-free.

"They told me they were going to do something about it, I never did get no phone call," said Patricia Barnes, the mother of the underage teen.

MCS says Memphis Police investigated Samuel Sutton, the security guard in question, last August. When he wasn't charged, Sutton remained on the job, serving as a driver for Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash.

MPD has a policy of not releasing investigative reports, only the results of those reports, like an arrest affidavit.

According to MCS, the Shelby County District Attorney's Office declined to prosecute Sutton's case, "due to insufficient evidence," the district said.

With the case closed, MCS says it never learned all the details of what investigators uncovered.

"After the initial investigation we had no further information; we could not act on information that we did not, we hadn't received," said Gerald Darling, Chief of Security for MCS.

But late last week, more than a year after the complaint against Sutton was filed, MCS put Sutton on paid administrative leave.

MCS says it didn't learn the information from police though, rather a MPD police report that was leaked to a local radio host and posted online.

"From what I understand, some issues, even if you ask for it, you may not get it because that's the purview of the police," said MCS Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash.

"Although the information contained on the website has not been validated by MPD, MCS Labor Relations immediately began an investigation," MCS said in a statement released Tuesday.

"We are looking at definite inappropriate behavior at this time," said Darling.

Darling said Wednesday he wants to work with police about crafting new channels of communication to prevent overlaps like this.

Sutton remained on paid administrative leave on Wednesday evening.

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