A widespread sex abuse investigation in Texas has led to a female teacher being arrested and accused of having an improper relationship. Sara D’Spain has been suspended from her teaching gig at Kerrville Tivy High School in the town of Kerrville, about 70 miles north west of Texas. On September 21, D’Spain was taken into custody after a lengthy, extensive investigation, into abuse in the area. According to reports, D’Spain is married with two daughters. She is a qualified English as a foreign language teacher as well being able to teach pre-k through eighth grade.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. D’Spain Is Out on a $35,000 Bail
My San Antonio reports that D’Spain has been released on a $35,000 bail from Kerr County Jail. Her charge is one count of improper relationship between educator and student, a second-degree felony.
If convicted, D’Spain could be sent to prison for anything from 2 to 20 years as well as a fine of $10,000. The My San Antonio report notes that investigators are being tight lipped about the case.
2. D’Spain Is Married to her ‘Pre-School Sweetheart’
D’Spain lives with her husband, Travis, who is a paramedic and firefighter, and the couple’s two daughters in Bandera, Texas. D’Spain jokes on her blog that the pair are “pre-school” sweethearts. D’Spain’s maiden name was Erfurt. The couple was married in 2002 and had their first child in 2004.
KEN5’s James Keith reported on D’Spain’s arrest on his Facebook page. A friend of the suspect commented on the story writing:
There’s no way this is true!! She is innocent until proven guilty. I’ve known and also worked for her for years. She’s an awesome teacher, a great mother, and wife to her husband. There’s another side to this story that hasn’t come out yet.
D’Spain is noted as a donor to the Bandera Independent School District.
3. D’Spain Has a Blog Dedicated to Her Novel
Up until May 2013, D’Spain maintained a blog under the name Kathryn Can. That blog was dedicated to the writing of her novel. In her description, D’Spain says that she is a “Teacher of kindergarteners. Addicted to coffee, soccer and books. Habitual move quoter. Author of unpublished novel and recipient of many rejected queries.”
D’Spain also maintained a YouTube channel that was used for educational purposes as well promotional videos about her novel.
4. The Investigation Into Abuse at Kerrville Tivy High School Goes On
The investigation at Kerrville Tivy High School goes on with another teacher involved in an accusation of abuse against a student, reports My San Antonio. The website points out that no arrest has been made in the related case. The other teacher has been placed on leave as a result of the allegations. The two teacher’s cases are unrelated.
Superintendent Mark J. Foust says, “These allegations are of behaviors that will not be tolerated in our school distrcit and that are not indicative of our faculty and staff.”
The Kerrville Daily Times reports that the case is being handled by the Kerville Police Department. That report adds that a Justice of the Peace, Mitzi French, issued the arrest warrant in D’Spain’s case.
5. 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 crimes in 2006. While in 2016, former Department of Education chief of staff, Terry Abbott, wrote in the Washington Post that teacher/student sexual abuse were on the rise. For example, in Kentucky in 2011, the state saw the number of teacher/student sexual relationships nearly double.
My San Antonio reports that during the 2016-17 school year in Texas there were 300 investigations into improper relationships between teachers and students.