South Ripley Social Studies Teacher Charged With Supplying Teens Alcohol

Posted On July 07, 2017

A South Ripley High School teacher is accused of hosting an underage drinking party.

The Ripley County Sheriff’s Office and prosecutors on Wednesday filed a charge of Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor (class B misdemeanor) against Melissa Wilhoit.

Several minors, including Wilhoit’s daughter, were arrested at her home on June 14.

Deputies raided the party just after midnight upon receiving a tip that underage drinking was taking place there. They observed open alcohol containers and a “beer pong” game.

According to the new probable cause affidavit filed in court, investigators interviewed multiple witnesses from the party. They allegedly said Melissa Wilhoit was seen giving a minor a bottle of vodka to drink and providing jello shots in the garage area of the home.

In a previous court filing, investigators wrote that Wilhoit had claimed that she and another adult resident of the home were asleep inside and did not know how many kids were at the residence.

“She will be summonsed in for an initial hearing by the Court,” said Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel. “She has only been charged with a crime and not been proven guilty of anything at this point.”

South Ripley Community Schools superintendent Rob Moorhead said last month the school corporation was aware of and concerned about the situation, but would wait until police concluded their investigation before taking any action.