Teacher accused of having sex with Tate student arrested again, facing additional charges


    (Source: WEAR-TV)

    An Escambia County teacher accused of having sex with a student is arrested again.

    Mark Lua is facing even more charges. The Washington High School teacher, arrested for the third time in three weeks, was in video court Thursday.

    Lua is charged with obscene communication by use of a computer to seduce, solicit and/or lure a child and use of a two-way communication device to facilitate felony.

    The new charges bring Lua's total to eight - with three open cases.

    This new report states the latest victim claims she communicated regularly with Instagram user @tanya.is.your.mom - an account Pensacola police say Lua used to encourage his victims to send inappropriate photos and videos.

    Employed by the school district since August 2013, the 30-year-old initially worked as a drama teacher at Ferry Pass Middle School.

    Superintendent Malcolm Thomas says he moved to Washington High School in 2017, to teach English.

    "He was not on our radar for any wrongdoing," said Thomas. "Until this was reported to us."

    Despite the school district's investigation not yet being complete, Thomas says Lua will never teach in this county again.

    "He has no future with the Escambia County School District," said Thomas. "He's crossed a line that no teacher should ever cross."

    Lua does have the option to resign. If he doesn't do so before the next board meeting, Thomas says he will recommend Lua's termination.

    "He's been properly noticed and we'll fill his position," said Thomas. "And Mr. Lua will have to face the consequences of his actions with all the agencies that are involved."

    Those agencies include the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, Pensacola Police Department, the Florida Department of Children and Families and the State Attorney's Office.

    "The assistant state attorney who will be assigned to the case, will have to coordinate with all those agencies basically to combine all the efforts," said Assistant State Attorney, John Molchan.

    Molchan adding, additional charges could be possible.

    "The matter is still under investigation," said Molchan. "They're continuing to investigate the allegations as they come in."

    On Thursday, the judge set Lua's bond at $30,000. She ordered he wear a GPS monitor if he's released, and that all previous recommendations implemented by judges tied to Lua's other two cases be upheld.

    "If these charges are sustained all the way through the judicial system, you're going to get some sort of sexual predator designation," said Thomas. "So not only will you not be able to teach, you will be removed from a lot of occupations that would involve young people - and rightfully so."

    As of Thursday evening, Lua remains in jail.


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