Filed under: Gregg Olsen
From the Land of Letourneau, the Pacific Northwest has another interesting case involving a female teacher and a boy.But this one represents a new low in almost every way. Jennifer Rice, 31, was charged today for having sex with a 10-year-old student.
Sex with a 10-year-old. Jeesh. What kind of sex is that?
Here’s a snip from the Seattle Times:
A former Tacoma elementary-school teacher accused of having sex with a 10-year-old boy at a freeway rest stop was charged Monday in Pierce County Superior Court with kidnapping with sexual motivation and ordered held on $500,000 bail.
Tacoma police and school-district officials said Jennifer Leigh Rice, 31, met the boy shortly after she was hired last year as a replacement teacher at McKinley Elementary School. The district did not renew her contract earlier this year.
According to charging documents, Rice took the 10-year-old boy with her when she left a party in his East Tacoma neighborhood around 3 a.m. Thursday. Police and prosecutors allege that the two were headed for an Idaho amusement park when they stopped at a rest area in Ellensburg, napped and had sex.
The boy’s father told police he had asked Rice to stay away from his son about a month ago when he became concerned about the interest Rice showed in the boy, charging documents say. The father said Rice had been to their house to watch movies with the boy, taken him on trips and communicated with him frequently by phone and online, charging papers say.
The boy’s family told police they called Rice as soon as they discovered the boy was missing. Rice told them she had not seen the child, but the boy called family members a few minutes later and said he was fine, charging papers allege.
The boy was returned to his family — dropped off at an uncle’s house in Puyallup — shortly after police told Rice an Amber Alert with information on her vehicle was being issued, prosecutors said in charging documents.
According to Tacoma School District officials, Rice was hired in October, placed on leave in April and her contract was not renewed after the school received complaints that she was socializing inappropriately with her students outside of school.
Here’s a bit more, from KOMO TV (love the quote!):
“I’m disgusted. It’s just, I can’t even talk right now,” said Toyanne Rhodes, whose 10-year-old son was Rice’s student at McKinley. “She was a good teacher. She was nice. If I ever had any questions I could call her anytime. I could talk with her, pop into her class anytime I wanted. I never would have thought.”
According to the Tacoma School District, Rice taught at McKinley from October 2006 to April 20, 2007. At that time she was placed on administrative leave while the district conducted an investigation to determine whether she was socializing with her students after school.
Rice is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail and could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
There are more questions than answers here. But, hey, questions are fun. What does a grown woman see in a boy? What kind of parents let there kid party with a grown woman until 3 a.m.? Doesn’t anyone watch the news and know that if an adult — teacher, pastor, coach — is taking too much interest in your kid, you ought to put a stop to it?
Let’s see if this tale inspires books (guilty!), TV movies, magazine covers — as did Mary Kay Letourneau’s story.
Or just plain disgust. Time will tell.
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