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MSCS: Former middle, elementary school teacher arrested for 'crimes against children'

Memphis-Shelby County Schools said Joseph Blodgett taught at Oakhaven Middle School and Wells Station Elementary School.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former Memphis-Shelby County Schools (MSCS) teacher is in jail for sexual crimes against children, MSCS said Thursday.

MSCS said in a statement the former teacher, who ABC24 confirmed is 47-year-old Joseph Blodgett, taught at Oakhaven Middle and Wells Station Elementary school, and his employment ended in May 2022.

Blodgett is currently in jail on a $10 million bond on charges of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a child, sexual exploitation of a child, soliciting and extortion.

"Our hearts go out to any child and family who may be impacted," MSCS said in the statement. "His alleged conduct violates a sacred trust, and we share the community's outrage and disdain."

According to court documents obtained by ABC24, Blodgett produced sexual content with a child from October 2020 to May 2022.

He also, in that time, produced and possessed more than 100 pieces of content depicting a minor engaging in sexual activity. 

The indictment also charges Blodgett with coercing a child into producing child pornography and giving him photographs of such content. 

MSCS said prior to joining the District, he cleared a background check and all policy, legal, and statutory requirements for hiring. 

The district said they cannot share more details at this time due to laws and policies regarding crimes against children. 

"I’m frustrated and angry," MSCS Superintendent Toni Williams said in an email to MSCS parents. "The innocence of our children should be protected."

This is a developing story. We will update with more information as it becomes available. 

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