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Columbus City Schools teacher arrested, accused of paying minor he met online for sex

Robert Pea, 60, was arrested by Columbus police and members of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force on Wednesday.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A high school teacher with Columbus City Schools is accused of engaging in sexual activity with a 16-year-old girl he reportedly met through an online advertisement, according to a release from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. 

Robert Pea, 60, was arrested by Columbus police and members of the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force on Wednesday. Pea, who teaches at Northland High School, is charged with one count of compelling prostitution. 

Records show Pea reportedly found the teenager through an online ad, arranged through text messages to meet her at a hotel and paid her $80.

Court documents state task force officials received multiple tips regarding a minor female that was possibly a sex trafficking victim. As the case progressed, Pea was identified as a person of interest.

He was interviewed by agents on Oct. 25 regarding his involvement with the possible exploitation of a minor female victim. 

Information obtained during the interview and additional evidence provided probable cause to file the charge against Pea, according to court records.

A spokesperson with Columbus City Schools declined to make a statement but told 10TV the district was made aware of the arrest Wednesday morning. 

According to the district, Pea is a social studies teacher and the boys' bowling and golf coach. He had been employed with the district since August 1998.

They added Pea has been assigned to home without pay while incarcerated. Once released, he will be paid but will remain out of the classroom until the matter is resolved.

Pea was arraigned Thursday and is being held at the Franklin County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

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