A married social studies teacher in Virginia has been accused of having sex with a student. Ashley Leigh-Lewis Weber, 31, was arrested on August 1 and charged with two counts of having intercourse with a child aged 15 or older and another count of using a communications device to propose sex. Weber is listed on the Douglas S. Freeman High School website as a social studies teacher. The school is located in Henrico, Virginia, about 12 miles west of Richmond.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Investigation Into Weber Began on June 12
Speaking to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Lt. Chris Garrett said that the investigation into Weber began on June 12.
The teacher didn’t turn herself into authorities until the night of August 1. After an appearance in Henrico County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court on August 2, Weber was given a bond of $5,000. Weber is represented by lawyer Craig Cooley. Weber will be back in court on October 6.
Cooley told WTVR that Weber is married and that she attended Manchester High in Midlothian, Virginia, and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009. Cooley also said that Weber will be staying with her mother while she out on bail.
The station reports that the student was 16 at the time of the alleged abuse.
Her School Has Not Said if Weber Will Be Returning to Work in the Fall
Henrico County Public Schools spokesman Andy Jenks told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Weber has been a teacher in the system since 2009. He also told the newspaper that he didn’t know if Weber would be returning to work in the fall. Officials do not believe that the alleged abuse took place on school grounds. The timeframe is between May and September 2016.
WWBT reports that Weber was most recently a history and social studies teacher at Freeman High School. Prior to that, the station says she was at Tucker High School in Richmond.
In a statement to WRIC, the school system said:
We’re aware of the charges, but at this time it would be inappropriate to comment further. Ms. Weber is not a year-round employee, and we have few details about the allegations other than what has been publicly reported.
Ms. Weber has been employed with us since August of 2009, most recently as a history teacher at Freeman High School and, before that, at Tucker High School.
Female Educators Make Up a Small Fraction Teacher/Student Sexual Assault Convictions
Slate reported that female educators make up 4 percent of convicted rapists in teacher/student scandals in 2006. While in 2016, former Department of Education chief of staff, Terry Abbott, wrote in the Washington Post that teacher/student sex scandals were on the rise. For example, in Kentucky in 2011, the state saw the number of teacher/student sexual relationships nearly double.