The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department has announced that investigators arrested an elementary school teacher’s assistant on charges of fondling a student.

A news release on Friday announced the arrest of Francis Karl Respess, age 60. Respess was a teacher’s assistant at Walls Elementary School.

He was arrested and booked into the DeSoto County Adult Detention Center on the charge of Fondling by a Person in a Position of Trust.

Respess was being held on $500,000 bond, as stated in the news release, which added the investigation into the case was ongoing and the Sheriff’s Department could not provide more information.

Friday afternoon, the DeSoto County School District released a statement regarding the case.

“The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department informed school officials this (Friday) afternoon that a teacher assistant at Walls Elementary School has been arrested for inappropriate contact and communication with minors,” the statement read. “The assistant teacher is no longer an employee of DeSoto County Schools. School and district officials are working with local law enforcement during this ongoing investigation. Walls Elementary School parents were notified of the arrest via email by school officials.”

Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.

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