An Ohio high school principal has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old after the student shared an incriminating sex tape with police officials. The teen notified police of his relationship with the principal last week, who was identified through a tattoo matching that of the woman in the video.
Courtney Alfred, 39, wife and mother of two, was charged with sexual battery on Thursday for her relationship with the student while working at Education Alternatives in Bedford, Ohio.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The School had Already Investigated the Incident Before Police Got Involved
According to Scallywag and Vagabond, Education Alternatives placed Alfred on administrative leave after learning of the allegations against her, the organization’s Executive Director Gerald Swartz revealed in an email on Tuesday.
“Upon learning of the allegations, EA immediately began investigating and working with law enforcement,” Swartz said. “The employee has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.”
Education Alternatives is a non-profit organization that provides education to at-risk youth, according to its website. It has eight locations in Northeast Ohio.
“Education Alternatives is a vibrant, expanding nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of youth through relationship-based therapy, education and occupational programming that integrates current research and best practices for helping at-risk youth,” according to its website. “We believe each child that attends one of Education Alternatives’ programs deserves the opportunity to have a quality education, obtain a steady job, and succeed as an adult.”
Bedford Police Deputy Chief Rick Suts said the school knew about the alleged relationship but after their own investigation, determined that the allegations were not credible. However, Bedford police disagreed after the victim allegedly came to them with incriminating evidence against Alfred.
2. Police Allegedly Identified Alfred Through a Tattoo Matching the Woman in the Sex Tape
According to Suts, the alleged affair started in an empty gymnasium when the two were alone and continued for months thereafter.
“He says the relationship started when they were upstairs in the gym alone, that she kissed him on the mouth,” said Suts. “Since that time there had been numerous encounters in her van in the parking lot.”
Suts also said that, according to testimony from the victim, Alfred would allegedly pull into the parking lot, have the victim get in her van, and they would go in the backseat to continue their “relations.”
“He’s saying that he took video of them having sex and in that encounter, you see a tattoo. We got a search warrant to see her tattoo, that tattoo matches the one on the video,” added Suts.
Investigators also discovered numerous text messages exchanged between the two along with money being wired to the teen’s account and video of the two together.
Alfred was arrested shortly after.
3. Alfred is Accused of Paying the Victim to Not Tell her Husband about the Affair
Police said that money was also transferred from Alfred to the teenager. Police said the teen told them it was to keep him from telling her spouse.
“There’s also transfers of money between her and him that he was able to show us,” Suts said. “He was alleging that was just to keep him quiet so that he wouldn’t tell the husband.”
However, the victim had originally contacted Alfred’s husband before going to the police. According to ABC 15, Alfred’s husband didn’t take the accusations seriously, which prompted the victim to contact police.
4. Alfred is the Latest of Female Teachers Accused of Having Sex with Teenage Boys Across the Country
Alfred’s arrest comes amid a series of recent high-profile allegations against teachers across America.
Loryn Barclay, a former substitute teacher in Missouri, was also accused of having a sexual relationship with a teenage boy when she was teaching at Monett School District in Missouri last June. An affidavit in the case alleges that “Barclay said she performed oral sex on the boy in a car at a park located in Lawrence County, Mo. She also admitted she had intercourse with the teen at the boy’s home in neighboring Barry County,” according to Fox News.
Last month, former teacher Jessie Lorene Goline, 26 was sentenced to probation after facing accusations that she had sex with four different students, including two on the same night. Goline had originally faced 30 years in prison but avoided jail time through a plea deal, according to the New York Post. Only one of the four students was underage, and that the underage boy had claimed he was over 18 when he was with Goline.
A married middle school teacher was also arrested in February for having sex with a 14-year-old student who told detectives she gave him marijuana and sent him nude photos on social media.
Stephanie Peterson, a former science teacher at the New Smyrna Beach Middle School in Florida, was accused of having a sexual relationship with her former 7th grade student.
5. Alfred is Being Charged with Sexual Battery in a Court Hearing Later This Month
Alfred was arrested and is facing a sexual battery charge. The woman plead not guilty on Thursday and was released with a bond of $25,000.
According to ABC 15, WEWS in Cleveland tried to contact Alfred at her home, but received no answer. WEWS also called the central office for Education Alternatives and Vince Ruffa, Alfred’s attorney, but the calls were not returned.
Her next court appearance is slated for April 16 at 10.30am, according to Cleveland 19.