New York Daily News reports that a substitute teacher from Georgia has been arrested for allegedly inviting two of her male teenager students to have sex with her in her suburban home.
Laura Rich, 38-year-old substitute teacher from Georgia, was employed at Ace Academy in Canton between January of 2015 and August of this year. WSB-TV reports that this Georgia substitute teacher has been arrested and charged with several counts of sexual assault of a student.
“It’s the relationship she had as teacher-student that made it a crime,” Cherokee County sheriff’s office Lt. Jay Baker said.
The Georgia substitute teacher is being accused of allegedly inviting two of her students into her home to have sex with her on multiple occasions. Police believe the sexual relationship the teacher had with the 16-year-old lasted a little longer than the relationship with the 18-year-old.
“My [Jay Baker] understanding [is the relationship with] the 16-year-old lasted a little longer, a couple months. Then the 18-year-old happened later in the year [which] was not as long of a relationship.”
The substitute teacher from Georgia was released on a $22,400 bond just a few hours after she was booked at a detention center in the area.
According to the Cherokee County School District where the substitute teacher was employed, they have cut any and all ties to the teacher effective immediately. The school district wanted to make it clear that they have a zero tolerance policy for teachers (or anyone on the school district’s staff) to engage in an inappropriate relationship.
Below is the official statement the Cherokee County School District gave in regard to the Georgia substitute teacher and her charges:
“Ms. Rich formerly worked for CCSD as a substitute teacher. The School District is fully cooperating with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office’s investigation. Please contact the Sheriff’s Office for information about its investigation. Ms. Rich began substitute teaching in January 2015; her last day as a substitute teacher was August 19. She no longer is permitted to work as a substitute teacher in CCSD. Our School District has zero tolerance for inappropriate relationships between students and any adults serving in any capacity in our schools.”
The substitute teacher was almost immediately terminated from her position as a substitute teacher. Some media outlets are describing the actions the district took as “swift.” The school wasted no time reaching out to the local sheriff’s office when the school was notified of the inappropriate relationships.
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Police believe the relationship the substitute teacher had with the 16-year-old started shortly after she started teaching at Ace Academy in Canton. This relationship is believed to have lasted for a few months. The relationship with the 18-year-old is not believed to have taken place until this year. It was not until a few months after the relationship the substitute teacher had with the 18-year-old ended that someone called and reported the relationship to the school district.
Legally, in the state of Georgia, both the 16-year-old and 18-year-old were over the age of consent. This means the crimes the substitute teacher is being charged with will have nothing to do with having sex with a minor. The only reasons her actions are a crime is because she was having sex with her students. In the state of Georgia, it is illegal for teachers to abuse their positions by having sex with their students. This is true regardless of the student’s age.
How do you feel knowing that, legally, the issue is not the fact that this 38-year-old woman was having a sexual relationship with a 16- and 18-year-old, but the fact that she was a teacher while she was doing it? Do you think she should have been able to get out on bail just hours after being arrested? Share your thoughts on this in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office]