Clay High School teacher charged for inappropriate relationship with student
UPDATE: Long's jury trial, originally scheduled for October 2, was cancelled. His sentencing is set for November 2.
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office charged a Clay High School teacher for his role in the dissemination of matter harmful to minors, child solicitation and child seduction involving a Clay High School student.
An investigation by the St. Joseph County Special Victims Unit found that 25-year-old Caleb Long allegedly messaged a 15-year-old minor to solicit sexual activity.
In December, the victim told officers with the South Bend Police Department that Long sent her sexually explicit photos and messages, reports said.
Long allegedly sent the minor nude photographs.
The victim also reported that on one occasion, when Long and the victim were alone in his classroom, Long locked his door and started kissing the victim, reports said.
Long allegedly threatened to have the victim expelled if she told anyone.
A second victim told police Long also sent her inappropriate messages, according to reports.
The second victim said Long started following her on TikTok and messaged her on the app saying he knew she thought he was cute, reports said.
Long then asked if the second victim thought it was appropriate for him to message her since he was her teacher, the witness said.
The witness told Long it was okay as long as the messaging was not in a "sexual way," reports said.
Long allegedly asked the victim why it "weirded" her to say things sexually and then asked if she was okay with him messaging her because she liked him.
He said he could get in a lot of trouble for messaging her, reports said.
The victim told Long she didn't think he should message her because she didn't want to get him in trouble, according to reports.
The two exchanged phone numbers and texted until Long told the victim he was interested in her, she told police.
At that point, the victim stopped texting Long and told her parents what happened.
According to messages given to investigators, after saying he was interested in her, Long allegedly texted the second victim asking if she was coming to school and a few hours later, apologized for making her uncomfortable and taking things too far.
Long allegedly sent a message to the first victim saying, “I. Will. Go. To. Jail. You both have to realize that”, reports said.
He offered the first victim "infinite hush money if it means I keep my job" and said he would pass the second victim in class without her doing any school work, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Long is currently in custody and will be arraigned on Thursday.
The sentencing range for dissemination of matter harmful to minors, a level 6 felony, is six months to two-and-a-half years.
The sentencing range for child solicitation and child seduction, both level 5 felonies, is one to six years each.
The South Bend Community School Corporation released the following statement regarding the arrest:
On December 7, 2022, the South Bend Community School Corporation received a report that Mr. Long had shared sexually explicit messages with a high school student. The district administration immediately placed Mr. Long on leave pending investigations conducted by the Department of Child Services and the South Bend Police Department.
The district has been in full cooperation with all agencies involved in the investigation. Mr. Long has been notified of his termination from SBCSC. No further information can be released pending criminal charges.
The safety and well-being of our students are the foremost priorities of the South Bend Community School Corporation. Students, staff, and parents should report any concerns to our Quick Tip portal.