Former St. Louis County substitute teacher accused of raping teen found dead in jail
SOUTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV) - A former substitute teacher in the Mehlville School District who was accused of raping a student and threatening her was found dead inside a St. Louis County Justice Center cell, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office confirmed.
Brandon Holbrook, 30, of St. Louis City was charged with three counts of statutory rape and six counts of statutory sodomy.
Authorities say Holbrook first met the 14-year-old victim at Bernard Middle School, one of the schools where he was subbing. Police believe he started grooming the victim through social media platforms and exchanging messages and pictures in May. Police allege Holbrook raped the girl while at her home on three separate occasions. Police say Holbrook made veiled threats against the victim if she told anyone.
Police arrested Holbrook and he was taken custody at the St. Louis County Justice Center. Monday afternoon, the former teacher was found unresponsive in his cell. His cause of death is unknown at this time.
The Mehlville School District sent the following letters home to parents about the accusations against Holbrook:
Dear Mehlville School District families,
As a district, we believe it is important to communicate openly with our families, and that is why I am writing today to provide you with information about a sensitive situation.
Yesterday evening, St. Louis County Police arrested a former Mehlville School District substitute teacher. We were notified today that the substitute has been charged with three counts of statutory rape second degree and six counts of statutory sodomy second degree.
We are deeply troubled by any report alleging that an employee may have engaged in inappropriate behavior. Our schools are places where students should always feel safe, and we take any allegation of staff misconduct very seriously.
When the friend of a victim brought concerns to a Mehlville School District counselor on Monday, Sept. 12, district administrators immediately filed a report with the Division of Children’s Services in compliance with Missouri law. District administrators contacted St. Louis County Police and have provided information and assistance as they’ve requested it. The employee was made inactive on our substitute roster on Sept. 12.
As we do with all employees, this individual underwent an extensive background check before being hired.
Mehlville School District teachers and administrators have worked hard to create a culture where students feel safe and comfortable sharing any concern with a trusted adult at school.
While the district is not aware of any additional allegations, we strongly encourage anyone who may have information to contact St. Louis County Police Crimes Against Persons detectives at 314-615-5400 or Mehlville School District’s Executive Director of Human Resources Dr. Shannon Pike, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-467-5105.
The substitute has not worked in Mehlville schools during the 2022-2023 school year. He worked in our middle and high schools, Forder Elementary School and At Home (virtual program) between February 2021 and May 2022. I cannot state strongly enough that protecting the welfare of all students and providing a safe, secure learning environment is our first priority. If additional relevant information becomes available, the district and authorities will disclose those details as appropriate or permitted by law.
Chris Gaines, Ed.D.
Police do not know how many districts Holbrook worked for as a substitute teacher, and believe there may be more victims. Anyone with information about any additional victims is asked to call St. Louis County police.
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