MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A former Memphis-Shelby County Schools teacher is being held on a $10 million bond after he was indicted on several charges relating to sexual exploitation of a minor.
Records show Joseph Blodgett was indicted for with especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor, and extortion.
Blodgett is due in court on September 27.
Documents show Blodgett intentionally persuaded a child to engage in sexual activity and possessed more than 100 materials that include a child engaging in sexual activity.
The school district confirmed in a statement Thursday that Blodgett was a former Oakhaven Middle and Wells Station Elementary teacher before his employment ended in May 2022.
Read the full statement below:
We have received confirmation from local law enforcement that a former Oakhaven Middle and Wells Station Elementary school teacher was indicted on crimes against children. Our hearts go out to any child and family who may be impacted. His alleged conduct violates a sacred trust, and we share the community’s outrage and disdain.
The teacher’s employment with the District ended in May 2022. Prior to joining the District, he cleared a background check and all policy, legal, and statutory requirements for hiring. We know that our community has many additional questions, but laws and policies prevent us from sharing details on matters of this nature regarding children. We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and have important conversations about online safeguards and trauma-informed care.
We are deploying all available resources to ensure that families have the support they need to heal. At this moment, that is where we turn our focus – rallying around our children, supporting their families, and praying for healing across our county, city, and district.Memphis-Shelby County Schools