Teacher sexually abused student for years, including in her classroom, Iowa cops say

A teacher faces sexual abuse charges following a yearslong “inappropriate sexual relationship” with a student, Iowa police say.

Rachel Whiteside, a 34-year-old teacher and coach with the Ankeny Community School District, turned herself in Wednesday, Feb. 21, according to the city of Ankeny. She is charged with third-degree child abuse, four counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee, and lascivious conduct with a minor.

Authorities learned in January of the incidents involving Whiteside when the victim came forward to the Ankeny School District, officials said.

The victim reported being in ninth grade when the abuse began, KCCI reported, citing court documents. The victim was 14 years old at the time.

Police said the “sexual conduct” continued for years while the student attended the Ankeny Community School District between 2015 and 2018. The incidents continued until the victim was 23, according to the Des Moines Register.

Some of the sexual abuse, WHO13 and the Des Moines Register reported, occurred in Whiteside’s classroom after school, according to court documents. The outlets, citing police, reported the victim was “groomed.”

She’s a threat to children based on what she has done to me and should be monitored,” the victim said in their report, according to WOI-DT.

The victim said Whiteside was “methodical in her actions” by using her positions of power “to make the student feel comfortable,” according to WOI-DT.

Whiteside was ordered to not have contact with the victim or any minors, the Des Moines Register reported. She was jailed on a $100,000 bond.

School officials said in a statement to multiple outlets, including KCCI, that the teacher was “placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.”

Ankeny is about 15 miles north of Des Moines.

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