Mid-South teacher faces sexual battery charges

Chris Mirante taught music at Marshall Academy, a small Christian school in Holly Springs.  Mirante, who is married, is also a deacon at the Holly Springs Church of Christ.

Parents at the school for a football game did not want to talk about Smith or the charges against him, though just about everyone knew.

Elizabeth Smith's sister teaches at the school, and she said word had gotten out.

"She just came home early," Smith said.

Chris Mirante is charged with one count of sexual battery involving a juvenile and one count of molestation involving another girl. The Sheriff's department would not release any other details.

"Whether it's true or not, it's still a bad deal. I hate it for him," said Smith.

Marshall Academy's head master would not comment on the charges.

The school did issue a statement saying, "Marshall Academy is shocked and saddened to learn about the criminal allegations."

The statement indicated the school is cooperating.

Mirante directed Marshall Academy's patriot singers, who performed at many events in Holly Springs. He also directed several plays for the school.

Chris Mirante is off the job. A school spokesperson said he no longer works at Marshall Academy.

Mirante was released from jail Tuesday afternoon after posting a $50,000 bond.

Authorities said the ongoing investigation could include more victims and more charges.

Click here to e-mail Janice Broach.