Jeffrey Clayton, a former vocal teacher at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, is handcuffed after a judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison on Friday, June 14, 2024. | Will Brown, Jacksonville TodayJeffrey Clayton, a former vocal teacher at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, is handcuffed after a judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison on Friday, June 14, 2024. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today
Jeffrey Clayton, a former vocal teacher at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, is handcuffed after a judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison on Friday, June 14, 2024. | Will Brown, Jacksonville Today

Former Douglas Anderson teacher sentenced to 10 years

Published on June 14, 2024 at 7:42 pm

Former teacher Jeffrey Clayton, convicted of lewd behavior with a student at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, walked briskly up to the Duval County Courthouse on Friday carrying a small backpack.

He left in handcuffs.

Circuit Judge Tatiana Salvador issued a series of sentences that Clayton will serve concurrently: 10 years on each of two second-degree felony charges and five years on each of two third-degree felonies. He will serve three years’ probation after his release. 

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“You’ve lost a lot,” the judge said as she prepared to sentence Clayton. “You lost it because of actions you took.”

Clayton, 67, pleaded guilty in April to two counts of offenses against students by authority figures, indecent lewd or lascivious touching of minors and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

He was arrested in early 2023 after he was found to have sent about 1,700 text messages to a 16-year-old girl and also inappropriately touched and kissed her.

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Prosecutors allege that on March 17, 2023, Clayton held a one-on-one singing lesson with the Douglas Anderson student. He was accused of uttering romantic feelings toward her, rubbing her thighs and attempting to kiss her.

Since his arrest, a number of people have come forward with similar complaints. Three of them offered victim statements Friday in a deal Clayton’s attorney made in exchange for the state not bringing additional charges against him.

Clayton faced a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

A remorseful Clayton, speaking first during the hearing, told Salvador he’s been living in his car, storing his belongings in a 5-by-8 storage unit, and making money by donating his plasma. 

After Clayton spoke, prosecutor Anna Hixon played a recording of a “controlled call” — a call police asked the victim to make to Clayton during their investigation.

Audience members in the filled-to-capacity courtroom looked uncomfortable listening to the explicit call. Some sobbed quietly; others put their heads in their hands. Clayton stared straight ahead, shoulders slumped.

Salvador later called Clayton’s discussion on the call “creepy.” 


author image Reporter email Megan Mallicoat is a Jacksonville Today reporter focusing on education. Her professional experience includes teaching at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, as well as editing, communications management, web design, and graphic design. She has a doctorate in mass communication with an emphasis in social psychology from UF. In her "free time," you'll most likely find her on the sidelines of some kind of kids’ sports practice, holding a book.

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