The Citrus County Florida Sheriff thinks there may be more victims. For now, police say, Angela Jean Cone Stanton, a 50-year-old substitute teacher, performed oral sex on a 15-year-old and shared nudes with at least two other teens at Citrus High School via Snapchat.
On Wednesday Citrus County Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit detectives arrested the Inverness, Florida woman. Police identify her as Angela Jean Stanton. School officials say her name is Angela ‘Angie’ Cone-Stanton.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Citrus High Principal Was Tipped Off About Stanton’s Alleged Sexual Misconduct. A School Investigation Began & the Sheriff Was Called
According to the Citrus County School Board, Citrus High School a principal learned of possible inappropriate activity between Cone Stanton and a student, immediately prompting an investigation into the allegations. The school has one principal and three assistant principals; thought the school district said it was a female principal.
Citrus County Sheriff’s Office detectives went tot he high school and interviewed “the three potential victims.” During those interviews, detectives learned that Stanton sent several nude photographs of herself to the three “juvenile victims” via Snapchat. Then sheriff’s detectives were told that Stanton “performed oral sex on one of the juveniles, who was 15-years-old at the time.”
It wasn’t long after that special victim unit detectives were on Stanton’s doorstep.
2. Stanton’s Statements ‘Corroborated’ What the Alleged Victims Reported & She Was Arrested
The sheriff’s office issued a statement on the website penned by Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast. In it he said that after detectives gathered statements from the victims, they responded to Stanton’s residence on Sandpiper Drive in Inverness. Stanton agreed to accompany detectives to the Lecanto Emergency Operations Center, where an interview took place. During the interview, several statements made by Stanton corroborated the specific details given by the victims.”
Stanton was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of felony lewd and lascivious battery and one count of felony transmitting harmful materials to a minor, online records show. Her bond was set at $12,000.
Citrus County Court records updated Saturday show Stanton bonded out on Thursday Jan. 24. Her next court date is Feb. 11. None of the documents in the case are available publicly online as it’s a sexual assault case. The arrest affidavit is 5 pages long. It appears she applied for indigent status but did not request a public defender.
The Citrus County School fired her Thursday morning.
3. Hired Weeks Ago, Stanton Was ‘Heavily Involved’ With Athletics & Talked to Students on Social Media & School Officials Said She Knew a Victim Before
The Citrus County schools said on its Facebook page that Cone-Stanton was hired on Jan. 3 as a substitute teacher. On Tuesday, Jan. 22, “after one of our high school principals learned of possible inappropriate comments made by Cone-Stanton, she began to investigate and learned of possible inappropriate behaviors between Cone-Stanton and a student.”
The school district said the “behaviors appear to have existed prior to Cone-Stanton working as a substitute teacher.” School administrators called the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Sheriff’s Office.
“After learning of these charges, Cone-Stanton was immediately released from her position as a substitute, and currently in the process of being trespassed from all school properties,” the district wrote on Facebook.
learned that the substitute, who police say was “heavily involved in the school’s athletics programs, where she would routinely text and communicate with student-athletes through various social media outlets.
Sheriff Prendergast said, “Stanton was a trusted community member who was heavily involved in activities working with our county’s youth. She used her position to prey on the vulnerability of our children. No parent should ever have to worry about their child being victimized like this; especially from someone they viewed as a mentor. We will continue to work with the Citrus County School Board to determine if there are any additional victims.”
4. Police Are Looking For Additional Victims While Schools Superintendent Says Incident is ‘Unfortunate’ But Not Systemic
“We are currently working together with the Citrus County School Board to determine if there are any additional incidents. We are asking if you have any information or believe your child was a victim of Stanton, please contact Special Victims Unit Sergeant Stephen Conley at (352) 249-2718 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The schools have said that once it’s “made aware by investigators as to victims involved, we will work with their families to determine the best course of action for any counseling or treatment they may need.”
“This is an unfortunate and sad situation,” says Superintendent Sam Himmel. “However, there is no reason to believe that any inappropriate behavior with our students occurred on any of our school campuses.”
On the Facebook post, some parents are questioning how can Himmel be sure.
5. Stanton Was a Pop Warner Cheer & Football Board Vice President Who’s Now Fired. Stanton Has Her Supporters Who Say They’re ‘Shocked’
“Not Angie. She’s amazing. I don’t believe it. There’s more to this story.”
“Can’t believe this just shocked no words.”
“I simply DON’T believe it!! Anything can be said about anyone, that doesn’t make it true! I’m sorry but after having worked with her for 6 years there is just no way that I can believe this.”
Cone-Stanton was on the board as vice president of the Inverness Storm cheerleading and football organizations.
In a letter posted to Facebook, board president Bobby Lambert wrote that “Stanton has been removed from her position” and is “suspended from further involvement” with the group or anyone associated with it. “She is to have no contact with any parent or child…”
He wrote it is the “board’s intention to maintain a safe and structured environment for all youth and parents…(and) any criminal or inappropriate behavior by anyone involved will not be tolerated.”
Lambert told parents to “discontinue further communication” with Stanton.