- Associated Press - Friday, May 5, 2017

PICAYUNE, Miss. (AP) - A high school military instructor in Mississippi is facing charges of having inappropriate sexual contact with a student.

Local news outlets report 48-year-old Steven Todd Hardin was taken to a correctional center in Pearl River County on Thursday after a grand jury indicted him on six counts of sexual battery of a minor.

Police say the charges stem from his time as a Navy Junior ROTC instructor at Picayune Memorial High School.

Authorities arrested Hardin on Wednesday at a high school in Lauderdale County, where he now trains children in the Navy Junior ROTC program.

Picayune police said in a statement Hardin’s arrest was the result of complaints received by them and the Picayune School District about conduct that allegedly occurred against one student during the 2015-16 school year.

Mr. Hardin is a person who was in a position of authority and abused his authority when it came to his alleged sexual conduct with students,” Picayune Police Chief Bryan Dawsey said in a statement.

Superintendents of school districts in both counties said they could not comment on the matter.


This story has been edited to clarify that the charges stem from Hardin’s time as teacher at Picayune Memorial High School, not at his present job in Lauderdale County.

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