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Substitute teacher accused of statutory rape

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Julie Pope, 27, was arrested by Olive Branch Police Wednesday. Julie Pope, 27, was arrested by Olive Branch Police Wednesday.
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DESOTO COUNTY, MS -

(WMC-TV) - A former substitute teacher is accused of statutory rape involving a 14-year-old.

Investigators said the teen was a student of the teacher's at some point. Julie Pope, 27, was arrested by Olive Branch Police Wednesday.

Pope is off the substitute teacher list for DeSoto County schools. She was charged with statutory rape, and it involved a relationship with a 14-year-old boy.

A DeSoto County schools spokesperson said the former substitute was employed through a temp agency. They will not say what schools she worked in.

Olive Branch police said the alleged incident occurred earlier this year and did not happen on school property. The alleged victim was a student of the substitute's at one time, according to police.

Pope has not worked in a DeSoto County school since December of last year. The case is still under investigation.

"More than a 36 month age difference and the victim being under the age of 16, that's why that charge applied," said Major Tim Presley explaining the charge.

This is the statement from DeSoto County schools:

Julie Pope, a former DeSoto County School employee, has recently worked for Kelly Services as a substitute teacher.

During her employment, DCS has no reports of illegal or inappropriate conduct. She passed background checks to work for the district and for Kelly Services, the professional agency who hires substitute teachers to work in DCS.

Julie Pope has not worked for DeSoto County Schools since December 2012, and her name has been removed from the substitute list.

DCS will fully cooperate with the Olive Branch Police Department's investigation.

Kelly Services said they will continue to cooperate with the authorities. They provided this statement:

Kelly Services is concerned about the report of inappropriate behavior and takes this situation very seriously. We are cooperating fully with the investigation and cannot comment further.

Pope is due for her initial appearance in Olive Branch city court on Tuesday. Action News 5 was unable to find any contact information for Pope or if she retained an attorney.

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