A Redlands, Calif., high school teacher accused of having a baby allegedly fathered by a teen student was charged Monday with 41 counts of sex and oral copulation with a minor.
Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, 28, was arrested a week ago after the mother of a Citrus Valley High student contacted school officials about the suspected relationship between her son and the English teacher.
Authorities said Whitehurst had given birth June 18 to a baby fathered by the student with whom she alleged began having an affair when he was 16. The boy attended the baby’s birth, according to court documents.
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After Whitehurst and the boy confirmed details of the relationship to a Redlands police detective, authorities made the accusations public. Then, at least two other men came forward and said they had had sexual relations with Whitehurst in 2007 and 2008.
One of the alleged victims spoke to NBC4 Southern California, saying he never felt victimized but wanted to share his story so that others might come forward to tell police about their experiences with Whitehurst.
Officials with the Redlands Unified School District had interviewed Whitehurst and her alleged victim about their relationship in May, but police were not contacted until the boy's mother made a complaint, according to a police detective's affidavit.
The charges filed by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office against the teacher reflect alleged relationships with the three teen students. Whitehurst is charged with 30 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, and 11 counts of oral copulation of a person under 18.
She is set to be arraigned via video on Tuesday afternoon, according to a tweet from the District Attorney's Office.
If convicted as charged, Whitehurst could face up to 29 years in state prison, the District's Attorney's Office said.
Whitehurst was released July 1 after posting $25,000 bail. She was again arrested Monday without incident, the District's Attorney's Office said.
She is now being held on $750,000 bail.
The District Attorney’s Office is still seeking to identify potential additional victims of Whitehurst. Anyone with information should contact Redlands police Detective Natasha Crawford at (909) 798-7623 or the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office at (909) 382-3660.
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