VERO BEACH — The technical director at St. Edward’s accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student in the Waxlax Theater has entered a plea of not guilty and is requesting a jury trial, court records show.
Donald Irvin III, 32, was arrested earlier this month on two felony counts of sexual battery on a minor. He is being held at the county jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. Irvin faces a maximum of 30 years in prison on each count.
Records show that investigators have seized Irvin’s laptop and cell phone, which were found on a table behind the theatrer’s stage. A green pillow was also taken into evidence from the girls’ locker room at the school, according to court records.
The Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation into the alleged relationship between Irvin and the teen when the teen’s parents notified authorities of what they perceived to be inappropriate text messages.
Such messages between Irvin and the girl were used by investigators’ to request a search warrant.
According to the court file, Irvin called the girl “honey” or “hon” and both expressed love for the other.
The court record reveals one extended exchanged between the two:
Irvin – “So, what’s on your mind?”
Teen – “Nothing besides you. What’s on yours?”
Irvin – “Same here.”
Teen – “Hope my mom lets me help tomorrow, otherwise it will be a long day without you.”
Irvin – “Enough of that talk…always be happy in these chats…and clean.”
Teen – “K, I shall try.”
Irvin – “I know it will be difficult, but that is what face to face talking is for.”
The lead investigator in the case against the St. Edward’s employee has characterized their encounters as a courtship that turned into a sexual relationship.
“He courted her for a while,” said Det. Jeremy Shepherd. “And with her being impressionable, she fell for him.”
Shepherd said the two began their encounter in March 2010 and it turned sexual in May after the two started joking about sex. According to what the girl told investigators, they had sex in the theatre’s storage room and Irvin used a condom.
The student told authorities that she and Irvin have had protected sex five times, all on school property, and that the last time was on June 3.Irvin, who remains in jail on $100,000 bond has been ordered to have no unsupervised contact with minors except for his own child. He has a young son, the Sheriff’s Office has said. A date for the trial has yet to be set.
Managing Editor Ian Love contributed to this report.