A California man has alleged that he had sex with his former high school teacher, who was arrested separately this week on unlawful sex charges two weeks after she gave birth to a baby allegedly fathered by another former student at her school.
Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, formerly employed at Citrus Valley High School, “was arrested Monday night after questioning at her home,” Redlands, Calif., police spokesman Carl Baker told ABCNews.com Wednesday. The school district has terminated her contract.
Whitehurst, 28, was an adviser to the then-16-year-old student who allegedly fathered her child. The teen’s name has not been released, but police said he graduated in June.
“The sexual relationship began last summer and continued for nearly a year,” Baker said. “The victim’s mother reported the relationship to school officials, who called Redlands Police on Monday.
“The baby is with its mother or her family. … There is no other official information [on the child],” Baker added
Cmd. Shawn Ryan of the Redlands Police Department said at a news conference Monday that Whitehurst “was open about her pregnancy and that the school district knew.”
But district officials were apparently unaware of the father’s identity until the teen’s mother discovered the alleged relationship and reported it to authorities, police said.
Whitehurst was arrested for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and released after posting $25,000 bail Monday evening, police said.
Meanwhile, the arrest prompted Michael Cooper, now 23, to come forward with allegations that Whitehurst had initiated a relationship with him when she taught him in the same district but at a different school, Redlands High School.
“Her and I had a physical sexual relationship,” Michael Cooper told ABC News affiliate KABC-TV in an exclusive interview that aired Tuesday. “I didn’t know what to think at first. It was kind of a shock, but being a hormonal 17-year-old, I saw an opportunity and I kind of just went with it.”
Cooper said Whitehurst initiated and maintained a relationship with him during his junior year at Redlands High School. She was his English teacher.
“She came to me first,” he said. “She initiated it by telling me she had a dream, where in that dream we eventually kissed.”
Redlands police say they have spoken with another potential victim, but declined to say whether it’s Cooper. “Since that time [of the arrest], a second possible victim was interviewed after he came forward late yesterday [Tuesday],” police spokesman Baker said.
Redlands Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Sabine Robertson-Phillips said in a statement that they were “recently made aware of allegations involving a high school student and teacher.”
“Nothing is as important to us as the safety of our students, and the district takes this arrest very seriously,” Robertson-Phillips said.
She also said that while school officials are fully cooperating with police in their investigation of the matter, they placed Whitehurst on leave as soon as they became aware of the allegations, before terminating her contract Tuesday.
A man who said he was Whitehurst’s father but refused to disclose his name told ABCNews.com in a brief phone interview Wednesday “that she is not willing to speak to media at the moment.”
It’s unclear whether she has a lawyer.