Teacher & firefighter indicted for statutory rape
Update: A former Memphis teacher and a firefighter have been indicted on previous charges of statutory rape.
Michael Lewis has been indicted on seven felony charges, including three counts of statutory rape by an authority figure, three counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and aggravated statutory rape.
Bryan Wilson has been indicted on charges of aggravated statutory rape.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Shelby County Schools teacher and his firefighter roommate were arrested for statutory rape.
Deputies say two 17-year-old girls told them they were involved in sexual relationships with the men.
A girl told investigators in one case, the consensual sex happened inside a Bolton High School classroom numerous times.
Bolton teacher and assistant basketball coach Michael Lewis, 31, is charged with statutory rape by an authority figure and aggravated statutory rape.
The girl also said she spent at least three nights with Lewis at his home.
A Memphis firefighter who lives at the same address as Lewis is also charged with statutory rape of a 17-year-old female.
The second girl told police she stayed with Bryan Wilson, 31, at least ten nights and had consensual sex five times.
Lewis is suspended without pay from his job as a Shelby County Schools teacher and coach. He was hired by the school district in January 2012 and started teaching at Bolton High that July.
“I didn’t think nothing like this would be said about him that he would do anything like this,” said Trebor Jackson, student.
No one answered the door at the men’s Bartlett home when we wen knocking, but we found what looked like a keg of beer sitting on the porch of the bachelor pad.
Neighbors are surprised by the arrest.
“Nobody is immune from making mistakes. In this case it sounds like they made a big mistake,” said Larry Milligan, neighbor.
“He’s older. He’s more experienced. He knows what to say,” said 21-year-old Andrea Phillips.
Investigators say the teen girls said sex was consensual but it’s a crime because they are underage and at least one of the men was in a position of authority.
One woman who didn’t want to be identified said, “You’re their leader so you know that shouldn’t happen. How can you even look at a child in that sense. That’s disgusting.”
Disgusting maybe, but it’s the second time in less than a year a Bolton teacher and coach has been in trouble for an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Math teacher and assistant football coach La-Torrence Bivens was fired last April.
“The same thing just different teachers,” said Jackson.
Still, students are surprised at this latest arrest.
Bolton student Alex Thacker said, “He was a great coach and everything. I heard great things about him. When I heard about this, I was actually kind of shocked.”
Both Lewis and his roommate are still in jail.
The firefighter will have a hearing as soon as he gets out of jail.
A spokesperson for the Memphis Fire Department said he’ll likely be relieved of duty.
Shelby County Schools says Lewis will continue his unpaid suspension until after they complete an investigation.