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Charges dropped against Gilbert teacher accused of inappropriate relationship with students

Aaron Dunton, 35 was arrested in June after an incident with a 14-year-old student

GILBERT, Ariz. — A former Higley High School teacher is no longer facing charges of having an inappropriate relationship with at least two students. 

12 News has learned the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has dismissed all of the charges against Aaron Dunton, 35. 

According to court records, the County Attorney's office filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him. The charges were dropped without prejudice, meaning prosecutors can refile them.   

During a press availability on Wednesday, County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said the case was being sent back to the Gilbert Police Department.    

Gilbert police arrested Dunton in June on charges of aggravated assault after an investigation into Dunton began in April. 

Dunton was initially placed on administrative leave and ultimately resigned from Higley High School. 

RELATED: Former Higley High School teacher arrested, accused of 'inappropriate' relationship with student

RELATED: Investigation into inaction: What did a Gilbert school district know about a teacher's relationship with students?

During their investigation, Gilbert detectives uncovered another alleged inappropriate relationship involving the former teacher and a then 11-year-old student he taught at Power Ranch Elementary School back in 2018.       

Because the court records have been sealed in this case, it's unknown what the alleged action was against Dunton in this incident. 

Former and current teachers tell 12 News that before Dunton's arrest they notified school administrators from both campuses about concerns over Dunton's alleged inappropriate actions involving students. 

That prompted Higley Unified Schools to launch its own investigation. 

In late June, the Higley Unified Schools Governing Board announced plans to hire a lawyer to investigate the handling of the previous allegations against Dunton, including which school leaders knew and when. 

A timeline was not given on when the investigation would be completed. 

12 News has reached out to Gilbert police and Higley Unified Schools for comment on the charges being dismissed. 

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