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Former teacher and coach accused of soliciting students for a romantic relationship

Robert Hartness is charged with multiple felony charges including authority figure soliciting...
Robert Hartness is charged with multiple felony charges including authority figure soliciting romantic relationship with a student, soliciting a minor for sexual conduct, and use of a two-way communication device in the commission of a felony. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Jan. 9, 2020 at 11:07 AM CST
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A former high school teacher and coach is behind bars again after investigators say he there are more students he tried to have romantic relationships with.

Okaloosa County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Robert Hartness, 52, for a second time in less than a week at his home in Niceville.

Walton County Sheriff's Investigators say Hartness was a teacher and coach at South Walton High School. They say he was attempting to solicit a romantic relationship with students via text message by sending photos and inappropriate text messages.

“Parents entrusted this man with their children and he betrayed that trust,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “He used his position to manipulate these young women and abuse his title as their teacher.”

Hartness is charged with multiple felony charges including authority figure soliciting romantic relationship with a student, soliciting a minor for sexual conduct, and use of a two-way communication device in the commission of a felony.

They say more charges could be coming.

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