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Michael James Lunt, Sunrise, Florida High School Teacher, Arrested for Sex with a Minor

Michael James Lunt, a Sunrise, Florida high school teacher, was arrested Tuesday after he was accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl, news sources report. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine whether there are any more victims. Lunt, 25, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on a second-degree felony count of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. It is unclear whether he has qualified for bail. It is also not yet known whether Lunt has obtained an attorney.

According to reports, Lunt is a teacher at South Broward High School in Hollywood. It is not currently known whether the victim was one of Lunt’s students. The high school’s police unit said they are conducting their own investigation into the accusations. A spokesperson from the school commented on allegations following Lunt’s arrest, saying, “[Lunt] will be reassigned away from students while the criminal and administrative investigations continue.”

The victim’s mother reportedly learned of the sexual relationship when the victim began to exhibit odd behavior. The mother, apparently worried that Lunt may be taking advantage of her underage daughter, reported the teacher to the police. During the following investigation, detectives learned that Lunt had sexual contact with the victim somewhere in the 300 block of North Beach Road in Dania Beach. According to a police report, the sexual activity was “consensual.” The legal age of consent in Florida is 18 if the other party is 24 years of age or older, making Lunt and the victim’s alleged sexual encounter illegal.

In other news, Wileine Bernard of Greenacres was arrested Saturday after she was accused of burning her 9-year-old son with a heated pot as punishment, reports say. The child sustained a three to four inch burn on his inner thigh as a result. Bernard was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of child cruelty. She was later released after posting $5,000 bail. It is unclear whether she has hired legal representation.

According to reports, the incident occurred on March 21 at Bernard’s home in Greenacres. The victim and his 8-year-old sister were reportedly making soup when the victim removed the pot from the stove and accidentally burned his sister. The sister told Bernard, who allegedly used the hot pot to burn the victim’s right inner thigh as punishment. The pot left a large black, red and purple burn on the victim’s thigh, sources say.

The victim spoke with an investigator from the Department of Children and Families following the incident. The victim reportedly said that Bernard has burned him in the past with an iron or a heated pot several times as a form of punishment. However, when the victim spoke with police several days later, he said that Bernard accidentally touched him with the heated pot while removing it from the stove.

Detectives then spoke with the victim’s sister, sources say. She too had small burn on her left ankle, which she claimed was from the victim burning her with the heated pot on purpose. The sister says she told Bernard, who then “burned [the victim] back.”

Police spoke with Bernard, who had a different story. She claims the victim was attempting to burn his sister with the heated pot, so she restrained him by one arm and tried to remove the pot from the other. However, as she was doing this, the pot accidentally touched the victim’s inner thigh and burned him, she reportedly stated.

Sources: 3.28.13 Lunt Sexual Abuse.pdf, 3.28.13 Bernard Child Abuse.pdf.

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