Crystal Nicole Carter

Former Washington County School District paraprofessional Crystal Nicole Carter pled not guilty to two counts of sexual assault by person over 24 sexual battery on a victim aged 16 or 17.

During court proceedings on June 5, Carter was appointed to be represented by Public Defender Casey Bigelow by Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Chief Justice Christopher Patterson.

Carter’s charges were brought by the state of Florida following a report made to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in May.

According to a report from the WCSO, on May 4, a parent reported their child had been having sex with Carter since December 2021, when the child was 17. The parent told investigators they had heard rumors and confronted their child, who admitted to having a sexual relationship with Carter twice before turning 18 and continued the relationship after turning 18.

The parent advised they had looked through the child’s phone and found texts and messages dating back to December 2021 with Carter, who had been working as a substitute teacher at Chipley High School. In those conversations, the child and Carter discussed the child having told other football players they were having sex.

A specific text chain dated December 9, 2021 shows Carter and the child discussing the child telling friends that he and Carter had been having sex.

Carter said “A football player said you are telling people something happened. I hope you let people know it’s merely a joke that could cost my job.â€

In the same text conversation Carter says,â€Anyway, I trust you with discretion and to assure that you let your friends know nothing happened and make sure you can trust your friends know nothing happened, and make sure you can trust your friends as well. Gossip could get me under investigation by the school even if it is not true, they can pull calls and texts.â€

Eleven pages of screenshots were taken into evidence of conversations with Carter, but all were dated after the child turned 18, with earlier conversations having been deleted.

Investigators obtained a sworn taped statement from the child on May 8, where they admitted that Carter had begun texting them around the beginning of their senior year of high school, asking to “hook-up.”

According to a taped statement from the child, Carter and he arranged to meet at her home where they had sex. He further stated they had sex with Carter twice before he turned 18 and that they had continued seeing each other in a sexual manner since he had turned 18.

A pre-trial hearing for Carter has been scheduled for August 21 at 9 a.m.

Neves Publishing reporter Wendy Weitzel also contributed to this report.