It’s become an all-too common phenomenon: Female teachers in the United States being accused of sex crimes with students under their care. The cases have occurred in all areas of the country. In some cases, they involve principals, coaches, and a choir director. What they share in common? Attractive young female teachers being accused of committing crimes with students.
To be sure, the cases also occur with male teachers and such notorious cases have provoked scandal for years (remember Mary Kay Letourneau? She co-hosted a Hot for Teacher Night in 2009 with the man she married. They started dating when he was a 12-year-old boy).
However, here is a roundup, with photos, of some of the female teachers accused of sex crimes with students in recent years in the U.S. How big are the numbers of female teachers being accused of having sex with students? According to the Center for Sex Offender Management, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, “females account for around 10 percent of all sex crimes reported to authorities,” Fox News reported. “However, a much higher percentage – over 30 percent – of all teacher-student sexual offenses are estimated to have been perpetrated by females. In the latest available statistics, in 2014, just under 800 school employees were prosecuted for student sex crimes – around one-third female.” In some cases, the female teachers adamantly denied the accusations.
Here’s what you need to know:
Elizabeth Flint, a volunteer intern at an Illinois high school where she was once a varsity cheerleader, was accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.
Flint was a former Ms. EIU Fitness 2017, according to The Daily Eastern News. EIU stands for Eastern Illinois University. She filled social media with photos of herself as a fitness model. Flint, 21, is charged with criminal sexual assault for the alleged incident with a Glenbard East High School student, according to the Daily Herald.
Brittany Zamora, a sixth-grade teacher in Goodyear, Arizona, was accused of sexual misconduct with a 13-year-old boy, including oral sex in a classroom and car. The boy’s parents figured out what was allegedly going on through a cell phone app.
Zamora has now been sentenced to 20 years in prison. “I am a good and genuine person who made a mistake and regret it deeply,” she told the judge, according to AZCentral. “I lived my life respecting and trying to obey every law. I’m not a threat to society.”
According to AZ Central, Zamora is accused of having sex with the male student three times and performing oral sex “on him in the classroom and in her car.”
“The two also exchanged sexually explicit text messages that included Zamora,” the newspaper reported, adding that she is also accused of sending the boy nude photos.
Dawn Diimmler, an assistant principal in the Lexington School District Two, was fired after the district launched an investigation into allegations that she “might be involved in an unprofessional relationship with a student.”
The accusation against Diimmler, 43, involved Airport High School in West Columbia, South Carolina. Diimmler was accused of “having sexual intercourse at the school with a 19-year-old Airport student over whom she had direct supervision,” according to The State. She is now charged with sexual battery. She was allegedly involved with the student for three months and is accused of having sexual intercourse with the student twice at school as well as outside of the school.
She had received years of good performance reviews.
Kayla Sprinkles, of tiny Hayesville, North Carolina, was accused in 2018 of sex acts with a student. She was a former social studies teacher and softball coach at Andrews High School.
Maren Oates, a teacher in Reno, Nevada for an elite high school, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student. Oates, 33, was a teacher at Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology in Reno, Nevada. Authorities have released few details about the accusations. Staff members allegedly alerted police that they thought Oates was having an inappropriate relationship with a student. She taught communications arts and media at the high school and attended the University of Nevada before embarking on her career in education.
She has been charged with having sex with a pupil and bail was set at $20,000, according to jail records.
Haley Reed is a former choir director from Kentucky. The 35-year-old Reed was accused in 2018 in the alleged rape and sodomy of a student.
Reed worked at an Oldham County High School. The police statement alleges that, between April 1 and June 1, 2018, “Mrs. Reed admitted engaging in sexual intercourse and oral sex with the juvenile student approximately eight times. All incidents occurred after hours on school property.”
Miranda Pauley is a former biology teacher accused in 2018 of taking indecent liberties with a minor. She was a teacher at Patrick Henry High School, which is located in Ashland, Virginia.
Cassandra Renae White, a 34-year-old English teacher from Oklahoma, was accused in 2018 of taking out a marriage license to marry a 16-year-old student. Local television stations in Oklahoma first obtained court records that allegedly show a marriage license filing between White and the boy. Court records “show a Cassandra Renae White, 34, and a 16-year-old boy, filed for a marriage license in Cleveland County on December 13, which was signed off by the teen’s father. A 16-year-old can be married with parental consent,” reported Oklahoma News 4 television station.
She was then accused of soliciting sexual communication from a student.
Hunter Day, a high school science teacher in Yukon, Oklahoma, was accused of having an “inappropriate relationship” with a student that allegedly included the exchange of nude photos and unraveled after sheriff’s investigators posed as the boy and discovered Day waiting for the teenager surrounded by lit candles.
Loryn Barclay, a former substitute teacher at a Missouri High School, was accused of having sexual contact multiple times with a 17-year-old boy.
The allegations span two different counties because Barclay is accused of having multiple instances of sexual contact with the youth, who has not been identified because he is a juvenile.
According to Fox News, 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.”
Stephanie Peterson was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy in Florida. She was his eighth grade science teacher. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office released a statement accusing Stephanie Peterson, 26, of having an inappropriate relationship with a student going back to November 2017. The press release alleges that Peterson sent the boy nude photos.
Shawnetta Reece, a middle school gym teacher from Georgia, was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy. Although Reece was accused in 2017 of the sexual contact, it allegedly dates back to 2013.
“During the investigation, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Union County Sheriff’s Office determined that the former teacher, Shawnetta Reece, now-40, was sexually involved with an 8th-grade student in 2013,” reported 11Alive. She was arrested a second time a few months later.
Tracy Miller, then 27, of Logan County, West Virginia, was accused of sending multiple male students nude photos of herself.
Authorities said that Miller “admitted to sending the photos,” WSAZ reported, adding, “She said most of the photos had been sent through a social media app. She told deputies she could not remember how many photos she sent but that she had possibly sent them to as many as five students.”
Nataly Lopez, a 27-year-old middle school teacher in New Jersey, was accused of having sexual relations with a student. She was a substitute teacher at the school. The allegations involve a school in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Elizabeth is the fourth largest city in New Jersey.
Lopez “taught classes at Nicholas S. LaCorte-Peterstown School No. 3, but was employed by Source4Teachers, a private company that hires substitute teachers for the school district,” according to CBS News.
Lindsey Jarvis, a 27-year-old middle school teacher’s aide, was accused of the rape and sodomy of a student under the age of 16. Lindsey Banta Jarvis was arrested in Fayette County, Kentucky, on June 16, 2017. Jarvis worked as a teacher’s aide at Veterans Park Elementary in Lexington. She entered a not guilty plea.
Tiffany Geliga, a Florida chemistry teacher, was accused of having sex with a teenage student in her car. On her now-deleted Facebook page, Geliga’s photos alternated between loving snaps of motherhood and selfies, including one bearing her stomach.
NBC 26 reports that the allegations came to light “after school administrators at Port St. Lucie High School told a school resource officer that they had spoken to a 17-year-old student who told them he had relations with Geliga.”
According to TCPalm, Geliga was eventually sentenced to “5½ years in prison after she pleaded no contest in January to a felony charge of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old student.”
Elizabeth Heaton Taylor, then 27, was a track coach and biology teacher who got married in August 2017 in South Carolina. She was allegedly caught at the side of the road in a state of undress with a student. WSPA reported that Taylor was found with the student by a Greenville County Sheriff’s deputy on the evening of February 15, 2018 on Holland Road in the town of Simpsonville.
Taylor Boncal was 22 when she was accused of having a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student in Connecticut, police in West Hartford say. She was a high school teacher at the time. NBC Connecticut reported that Boncal was a track coach and student teacher at the school.
Alina Leung, then 29, was accused by Fort Worth police of dricing a 15-year-old student to Oklahoma to have sex with him and go go-karting. She was a teacher at the only all-boys school in Fort Worth, Texas, the Young Men’s Academy, teaching science to 6th and 7th grade students. She was accused of sexually assaulting the student at her home, in her jeep and across state lines, according to documents in the case. She received a three year prison term.
Sarah Fowlkes was a Texas high school teacher accused of engaging in an improper sexual “relationship” with a 17-year-old student, police and school officials say. Sarah Madden Fowlkes was arrested on a felony charge and was suspended from her teaching position at Lockwood High School, the school district said in a press release. She was employed as a science teacher and was 27 at the time.
Camryn Zelinger was a drama teacher at a California high school who was accused of engaging in an “inappropriate relationship” with one of her female students, according to Riverside Police. The teacher taught at Encore High School of the Arts and was booked into Riverside County jail on a felony charge. Zelinger, a newlywed, was accused of sending explicit texts to the girl, police said.
Mallory Christ was working as a 29-year-old New Jersey high school teacher when she was accused of sending inappropriate photos to a male student through social media, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office alleged. She was arrested on a felony charge, and was a teacher at South Plainfield High School.
Her teacher’s license was ultimately revoked as part of a deal with prosecutors for a pretrial program for first-time offenders.
Alexandria Vera was a 24-year-old Texas teacher when she was accused in the sexual abuse of her 13-year-old student over a several months-long period, the Houston Chronicle reported. Police accused Vera of becoming pregnant and then having an abortion; She allegedly told police she was in love with the boy. She was an English teacher at the school.
Vera was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She claimed “the boy’s parents accepted the relationship,” according to UK Daily Mail. A therapist told the court Vera was influenced by a family history of domestic violence and felt she was in love with the boy, Daily Mail reported.
Heather Robertson was 38-years-old and a Texas kindergarten teacher when she was accused of having a threesome with two high school students. Robertson faced four charges of an improper relationship between a student and educator in the town of Lufkin, about 170 miles south east of Dallas. She was arrested after being pulled over by a police officer.
Robertson was ultimately sentenced to 10 years in prison. “Robertson was found to have had sex with at least six high school students between November and February,” reported Dallas Morning News.
Mary Beth Haglin
Mary Beth Haglin was a 24-year-old Iowa teacher accused of sexual misconduct with a 17-year-old student. She allegedly was a substitute teacher at the time for Washington High School in Cedar Rapids. She gave interviews after her arrest accusing the Cedar Rapids Community School District of letting the relationship to take place and alleging that abusive relationships made her vulnerable to the situation.
Haglin was sentenced to 90 days in jail. “I’m more complex than this one snapshot in time,” Haglin told the judge, according to The Gazette.
Raquel Spencer, a cheerleading coach and English teacher at a school near Dalton, Georgia, was accused of bringing heroin to school and having a sexual relationship with a student. Spencer was a teacher at Northwest Whitfield High School near Dalton, Ga. According to The Chattanooga County News, “a staff member at Northwest Whitfield High School reported that Raquel Spencer was ‘exhibiting unusual behavior.’” That account came from the district’s spokesperson.
Erin McAuliffe was 25 when she was accused of sexually assaulting three male teenage students. She was a North Carolina prep school math teacher at the time and was charged with three counts of sexual activity with a student and one count of indecent liberties with a minor, WNCN-TV reports.
The students in question were ages 17 and 16. McAuliffe is a Rocky Mount, North Carolina native. She graduated from Rocky Mount High School in 2010.
Tiffany Marie Ranweiler-Oblander, an Iowa teacher, was accused of having sexual contact with a student. Ranweiler-Oblander, 29, was accused of “sexual exploitation by a school employee. The four incidents happened between March and April at a home.”
According to The Globe Gazette, the accusations are that “the student and Tiffany engaged in sexual conduct at the student’s residence.” The newspaper reported that evidence includes a student’s cell phone, recorded interviews, and a “signed statement from the student.”
Suzanne Owen, a now fired teacher at an evangelical school in Fort Myers, Florida, was accused of having a sexual relationship with a student, local authorities announced in a news release.
Owen’s name was also given by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department as Suzanne Lea Owen. She is 35-years-old, according to the department’s news release. According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Department, Suzanne Owen was placed under arrest. “Detectives arrested a local high school teacher for having an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of her students,” the Lee County Sheriff’s news release said.
The investigation moved fast; it began on April 11, 2018, the same day that Owen’s arrest was announced, authorities revealed. “On April 11, 2018, Lee County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit detectives began investigating an alleged sexual relationship between a 35-year old female teacher and one of her male students,” the Sheriff’s Department wrote.
Brittney Whetzel, a high school English teacher in South Carolina, is accused of sexual battery for allegedly having sexual encounters with two students. Whetzel, 28, taught at Battery Creek High School in Beaufort, South Carolina. A week before Whetzel was arrested, Sheriff’s investigators “received a report of criminal activity on the part of two female Battery Creek High School employees that occurred at a Lady’s Island residence between April 9th and April 10th,” the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department alleged in a press release.
Elizabeth Giesler, 39, an assistant principal, was accused by the family of a 16-year-old boy of mentoring him and then sexually assaulting him. She was the assistant principal of Ste. Genevieve Schools in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.
Alyssia Reddy, who worked as an English teacher in New Jersey and a history teacher in Maryland, was accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student, an inappropriate relationship that allegedly played out, in part, over Snapchat. According to NBC Philadelphia, Alyssia Marie Reddy had “taught English at the Pennington School, a day and boarding school in Pennington, New Jersey.”
Although she was arrested in 2017, the allegations date a year back, the television station reported, citing police reports. “In December 2016, Reddy gave the student her cell phone number and then added him on Snapchat, according to the police records. The student said in February 2017 he received messages from Reddy saying, ‘I want your hands on me,’” NBC Philadelphia reported.
Andrea Baber, a former teacher at a Christian school in Oregon, was accused of having a year-long sexual relationship with a student that was uncovered after her husband stumbled on them together in the family home.
Baber was a teacher at Logos Christian Academy in Springfield, Oregon. Authorities say the boy in this case was 15-years-old and Baber is 29, according to Oregon Live. She lives in Cottage Grove, Oregon.
Laura Ramos was a Connecticut high school teacher when she was accused on charges of having sex with a special education student. She was 31 at the time and a special education teacher at Central High School. The Connecticut Post reported that Ramos allegedly confessed to having sex with an 18-year-old special education student in her car.
CTPost then reported, that the “former Central High School teacher allegedly had sex with at least four of her male special education students.”
Rebecca Mason Cales, a history and German teacher, was accused of having a sexual relationship with a student. Mason-Cales, who filled her Facebook page with selfies, was 26-years-old and was employed at Mountain View High School in Meridian, Idaho. Mason Cales was booked into the jail and stands accused of six counts of “CHILDREN-SEXUAL BATTERY-COMMITTED BY LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS ON A MINOR CHILD 16 TO 17 YEARS OF AGE,” jail records show.
Alexis Mashak, a middle school physical education teacher in Wisconsin, is accused of sexual misconduct with a 17-year-old boy. The 27-year-old Mashak worked for three years and eight months as a Physical Education teacher in the Sparta, Wisconsin Area School District.
Mashak was accused of having “an ongoing sexual relationship with a 17-year-old who goes to school in the district, but wasn’t one of her students,” News8000 reports. The student attended Sparta High School.
The LaCrosse Tribune reports that Mashak, now on paid leave, was allegedly seen on surveillance footage from a community center kissing the teen. The youth allegedly told police he “met Mashak through his girlfriend and that they both worked at the Sparta Boys & Girls Club,” The Tribune reported, adding that the allegations included sharing nude photos and having “sexual contact” in a car, house, and community center.
Madeline Marx, a 23-year-old substitute teacher from Ohio, is accused of having sexual relations with two students and sending nude photos to one of them on Snapchat and Instagram. The students were both in the 11th grade, according to WHIO-TV.
Marx taught at Fairmont High School in Kettering, Ohio. NewsCenter 7 obtained “cruiser cam” video that showed the teacher in the back of a squad car. She’s shown in the short video wearing a white jacket and sitting in the squad with her hands behind her back. She was arrested on Wednesday, November 8 by police in Ketting.
Marx received probation and must register as a sex offender but avoided prison time at sentencing. “I cannot express how sorry I am for what I’ve done, especially to the victims and their families,” Marx was quoted as saying at sentencing.
Dori Myers, a New York teacher and wife of a law enforcement officer, was accused of performing oral sex on a 14-year-old boy. According to The New York Post, the Bronx public school teacher now stands “charged with criminal sexual act in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child.” Myers adamantly denies the accusations, The Post reported.
The Post reported that her lawyer has argued “there were huge discrepancies in official paperwork detailing the accusations” and Myers cried during a court appearance. She maintains her innocence, The Post reported.
Ashley Meyer, a 33-year-old teacher from Louisiana, is accused of having “sexual relations” with a juvenile male. According to WBRZ-TV, the accusations occurred in the Livingston Parish School System, which declined to comment to the television station. Meyer was a teacher at Albany High School.
Samantha Ciotta, a 32-year-old teacher and cheerleading coach from Beaumont, California, was accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage student.
The situation came to light when Ciotta was allegedly seen in the background of a Snapchat video wearing “only a shirt and panties,” while drinking alcohol with two shirtless minors, police said in court documents obtained by Banning Patch. The 32-year-old Ciotta, of Banning, was “arrested on suspicion of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and oral copulation with a person under 18,” according to ABC 7.
Ciotta was not given jail time and doesn’t have to register as a sex offender, according to Patch, which reported she was given probation and had to wear an ankle bracelet for 180 days and was given probation. “I will take what has happened and use the experiences and lessons learned to give back to the community,” Ciotta told Patch.
Jessie Goline, a former high school art teacher from Arkansas, was accused of having “inappropriate” relationships with four students, including two on the same day. The former teacher, who was arrested on September 20, is from Jonesboro, Arkansas and is 25-years-old. Her name is also given as Jessie Lorene Goline.
According to ArkansasOnline, authorities allege that “one student was dropped off by a friend at Goline’s residence in Jonesboro, where the two had sexual intercourse… Another student, enrolled in Goline’s class, said the teacher picked him up one afternoon and took him to her apartment, where they had sex before she took him back home…Authorities said they learned that Goline had sex that same day with another student she had taken to her apartment.”
Goline was sentenced to 42 months probation and will have to register as a sex offender. According to The Star Telegram, “Only one charge was filed because, according to previous reporting from the Democrat-Gazette, only one of the four students Goline admitted to taking home for sex was under the age of 18 at the time of the encounter.”
Melissa Bonkoski, 38, was an earth science teacher from Pennsylvania. According to Fox News, Melissa Bonkoski, 38, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, is accused of becoming “obsessed” with a 16-year-old male teenager.
She was a teacher at Owen J. Roberts High School. According to NBC Philadelphia, Bonkoski is from Stowe, Pennsylvania. The school is in Montgomery County. According to Daily Local News, the teacher allegedly begged the student not to cut things off. She allegedly “had become obsessed with one of her former students, and wanted desperately to communicate with him,” reported Daily Local News, which quoted a text message she allegedly sent in March as saying, “Whatever you do, please don’t shut me out. I’m begging you.” According to the newspaper, another text allegedly read, “was kinda hoping you would’ve called me back last night. I really need to talk.” The newspaper reported that the boy began to regard the texts as harassing.
Rayna Culver, a married teacher from Trenton, New Jersey, is accused of adopting a teenage boy so she could have sex with him “almost every day.” The bizarre allegations emerged in court documents filed against Culver, 43. According to The Trentonian, Culver is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.
Her lawyer says the accusations are false, The Trentonian reported. Attorney Robin Lord told The Trentonian: “The state’s theory of the case is a completely fabricated recitation made up by a troubled, young man.” When she met the boy, Culver worked as a “school climate and culture leader at Rivera Middle School” starting in 2013, reported the Central Record. The complaint alleges that the pair developed a rapport, and the boy now believes that the “purpose of her taking him in was to eventually make sex a part of their relationship.”
Jill Lamontagne, a married health teacher in Maine, was accused of having sexual contact with a teenage boy in court papers filed by the teenager’s mother after he tried to commit suicide. The 29-year-old teacher was represented by a lawyer, who has denied the allegations.
On a teaching blog, Lamontagne, who taught at Kennebunk High School, wrote that she wanted to be an “exceptional role model” for students. “My client maintains her innocence because she is innocent. She’s saying ‘I didn’t do this’ and wants to prove it,” her lawyer said. “She’s traumatized by these accusations and events. It’s been very, very difficult for her.”
Gretchen Krohnfeldt, 47, a married teacher, committed suicide after allegations arose that she had a “physical relationship” with a student. SHe was a long-time teacher at Drake Middle School in Arvada, Colorado.
Authorities first learned of the allegations on May 9, according to CBS. The Sheriff’s Department “was made aware of a possible inappropriate relationship between a female employee at the school, later identified as Krohnfeldt, and a male student,” reported CBS.
The network added that “the allegations were that the relationship began when the student attended Drake Middle School.That student is now a high school student in Arvada.”
A pregnant seventh-grade English teacher and cheerleading coach in Texas was accused of having sex with a 15-year-old male student. Katherine Harper, 27, was accused of having an improper relationship between an educator and student, which is a second-degree felony in Texas.
Harper, a teacher at Tidwell Middle School in Roanoke, Texas, allegedly sent nude photos of herself to the student with her cell phone, the Star-Telegram reported. She is sometimes known as Katherine Ruth Harper. Harper was sentenced to six years in prison and 10 years probation.
Shelley Jo Duncan
A teacher and cheer coach who is married to an Oklahoma school superintendent was accused of indecent behavior with a 14-year-old boy. Shelley Jo Duncan, 48, of Tishomingo, Oklahoma was arrested in the case.
“We believe there was an inappropriate sexual relationship between this women and a young male student,” Jessica Brown, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation told KFOR-TV, calling it an “alleged affair.” She pleaded not guilty.
Cori Beard was a 28-year-old soccer coach at an Illinois high school when she was accused of sexually assaulting three male students on at least 12 occasions, police say.
Beard, who worked at Vernon Hills High School, was accused of engaging in illegal sexual acts with the students between December 2016 and February 2018, the Vernon Hills Police Department said in a press release. She pleaded not guilty.