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Monroe County Schools holds forum on band director arrested for child sexual exploitation

Miles Benson was arrested Thursday after investigators say he exchanged explicit material with a former student.

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. — The investigation into a Monroe County school employee continues.

Investigators arrested Mary Persons High School band director Miles Benson last week. He is accused of sending lewd photos and videos to a teen and former student.

On Monday night, Monroe County leaders held a forum for parents and students.

School administrators, Monroe County Sheriff Brad Freeman, and DA Jonathan Adams updated parents on the investigation into Benson.

County leaders walked parents through what they know so far in their investigation, encouraged other possible victims to speak out, and warned parents to check in with their children.

Sheriff Freeman says it all began with a call from a mandatory reporter on Dec. 21.

Investigators seized the teen's device and later Benson's devices, including a cell phone and two laptops. Adams says investigators collected enough evidence to arrest the band director with a list of charges last week.

Those charges include; sexual exploitation of children, possessing sexually explicit images of a minor, persuading amount of dissent in sexually explicit material, and sexual conduct by a person with supervisory authority.

DA Adams says Benson had sexual communication with a teen for a year-and-a-half, beginning when she was in 9th grade. Adams says Benson allegedly exchanged lewd photos and videos with the teen over direct messages on Instagram.

At this point, investigators have confirmed at least one victim, but Adams says they're still early in the process.

"That's one reason that this forum is to encourage any parents or students to come forward regarding potential victims in this case," Adams said.

Both Freeman and Adams encouraged parents to check their children's devices.

"You pay the bill as a parent. You're not law enforcement -- you can snatch that cell phone up anytime you want to see that cell phone and go through that cell phone and take appropriate action," Freeman said.

Benson bailed out of jail Friday, but according to DA Adams, that was on the condition that he's not allowed on school property or to have contact with the alleged victim.

Benson is also not allowed to have any contact with any minor. He remains on administrative leave.

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