A teacher at McLane High School has been arrested on a warrant from Tennessee after a grand jury in Nashville charged her with sexual battery by an authority figure.
Janai Mercedes Smothers, 25, was arrested Monday afternoon by Fresno police.
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said Tuesday it tracked Smothers to Fresno and asked local police to locate her.
Smothers had unlawful physical contact at Maplewood High School in Nashville with a teen female student during the 2015-16 school year, Nashville police said. An investigation by Nashville police sex crimes unit led to the indictment.
Smothers is being held at Fresno County Jail. Her return to Nashville is pending court proceedings in Fresno.
Fresno Unified issued the following statement:
“Yesterday, Fresno Unified was informed of the arrest of one of our employees. The employee was newly hired this school year and was subject to fingerprints and a national background check. The incident does not involve the district in any way. The person has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the criminal investigation.”
Superintendent Bob Nelson said, “It’s disheartening to hear of these incidents. We strive every day to provide a safe learning environment for our students and will continue to cooperate fully with legal authorities on the investigation.”