The family of a 16-year-old say that his 39-year-old “mentor” and a school assistant principal raped their son. Elizabeth Giesler, 39, the assistant principal of Ste. Genevieve Schools in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, located just southeast of St. Louis, has been arrested and accused of having sex with a minor.
The alleged victim’s father told Fox St. Louis in an interview that Giesler has known his son since he attended her middle school. The station reports that Giesler has been put on leave following her arrest. She is out after posting bond.
According to online records, Giesler is facing charges of sexual contact with a student, statutory sodomy and statutory rape. Charges in the case were filed on May 18. The case is regarded as pending at the Ste. Genevieve County Circuit Court.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Alleged Victim’s Dad Said That Giesler Had Said She Was Trying to Give the Teenager a ‘Better Life’
Speaking to Fox St. Louis, the victim’s father said that Giesler was something of a mentor to his son. The man said, “She talked to us about my son and what she can do for him, through life like give him a better life because he’s a good football player so she was going to make sure he got on the right path… She took advantage of him… she manipulated him because she knew what she was doing.”
The distraught father continued to say that his son is a student at Ste. Genevieve High School and that the teen has known Giesler since he was in the sixth grade.
2. The Teenager Says the Two Had Sexual Encounters on Three Separate Occasions
The Daily Journal in Missouri reports that teen told a Missouri Highway Patrol officer that in April 2018, Giesler performed oral sex on him. In two other occasions, the pair had “sexual encounters” in April and May at her home.
Fox St. Louis reports that the first encounter occurred “during an off-campus event.” The Daily Journal says that event was the Riverdog Tourney which occurred between April 7 and 8.
The boy’s grandmother also Fox St. Louis, “I thought she was a really nice person and I thought she was really going to do something for my grandson, but yeah she was doing something for him alright.”
3. The Teenager Is Now in the Custody of the State of Missouri
Fox St. Louis reports that the teenager is in the custody of the state of Missouri and could remain there for up three months. Missouri State Highway Patrol Spokesperson Juston Wheetly told the Daily Journal, “It was a special investigation we were asked to conduct on the assistant principal and the results were turned over to the prosecutor. We served the warrant on Friday and she was booked into the Ste. Genevieve County Jail where she posted bond.”
4. Giesler Formerly Taught Family Studies at a Missouri High School
Giesler has worked for the Ste. Genevieve school system since 2014 having previously been a teacher at the Liberty school system. The Ste. Genevieve Herald reported in 2014 that Giesler was hired after a unanimous vote by the school board. At the time, Giesler was a family and consumer-science teacher in Liberty, Missouri. The newspaper said at the time that Giesler would “bring a good mix of knowledge and experience to the job.” According to her LinkedIn page, Geisler is a graduate of Central Missouri State University where she studied consumer sciences and human sciences and of William Woods University where she got master’s degrees in administration and principalship.
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 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.
In November 2016, Texas State Representative Tony Dale sought to pass legislation that would prevent, as Dale says, teachers merely resigning and moving. Dale said of his legislation, “HB 218 increases penalties and close loopholes that allow educators who engage in inappropriate relationships to resign and obtain employment in another district. This bill seeks to allow Texas the tools we need to get rid of teachers who prey on our children.”