Sexual Assault In The News: 4 Recent Stories Of Sexual Misconduct

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Illinois Teacher Fired After Alleged Sexual Relationship With Student

A Danville, Illinois teacher has been fired, after being charged on three counts of criminal sexual assault by a person in a position of trust, WAND reports. Authorities say that Chelsea Robinson, 28-years-old, a former special education teacher at Danville High School, engaged in a sexual relationship with a male student.

The school’s board voted on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 to remove Robinson from her position. She’d worked for the school district since 2013. Robinson has pleaded not guilty to the charges; if convicted, she could serve up to 15 years in prison.

Arkansas Jailer Accused Of Assaulting Inmate

On September 13, 2018, Howard County, Arkansas correctional officer Reginald Marks was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting an inmate.

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Sheriff Bryan McJunkins of the Howard County Sheriff’s Department says that, on the morning of September 8, 2018, a female inmate came forward to say that Marks had taken her out of her cell to a storage room, where the two then had sex. Sheriff McJunkins says there is video evidence to substantiate the woman’s claims. Marks was fired from his job immediately, according to KSLA.

The report does not use the word “rape,” and investigators say they believe the sex act was consensual. In most jurisdictions, having sex with an inmate is illegal, with or without consent. Marks, 42-years-old, has been released on a $7,500 bond.

This is not the first sexual misconduct allegation against a Howard County jailer. In 2016, 21-year-old Gary Wilkes, a dispatcher and guard at the jail, was arrested after he allegedly exposed himself in front of female inmates.

CBS Executives Step Down Amid Sexual Misconduct Scandal

Jeff Fager, executive producer of “60 Minutes,” has resigned in the wake of multiple sexual assault allegations. CBS and Fager both say the allegations have nothing to do with his having stepped down. In a statement, Fager expressed his displeasure at CBS’ decision to oust him, saying it all came down to a text message he had sent to a CBS reporter, asking her to “be fair” in reporting a story.

The allegations against Fager came up as an addendum to a story in the New Yorker, which detailed the sexual assault accusations against Les Moonves, the former Chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation.

Like Fager, Moonves stepped down from his positions after allegations came to light. At least 12 women have accused Moonves of sexual harassment and intimidation after the fact, while dozens of others have described being abused at CBS.

But the New Yorker piece, authored by Ronan Farrow, also raised disturbing allegations against Fager. “When he grabbed my ass, it was just, like, ‘Welcome to ’60 Minutes,’ ” one ex-CBS intern told Farrow, accusing Fager of groping her at a work-related party in the late 2000s. At least six other women have come forward to allege that Fager touched them inappropriately during similar parties. Other women have accused Fager, former head of “60 Minutes,” of presiding over an office culture in which sexual abuse and harassment were tolerated. “I really felt like this was one of the most sexist places I’ve ever worked,” said one former employee.

Texas Teacher Arrested For Sexual Misconduct

Whitney Anne Laidlaw, a teacher for the Spring Branch Independent Student District in Houston, Texas has been arrested for allegedly touching a 14-year-old female student inappropriately, as well as sending the young girl sexually-explicit text messages and images.

Laidlaw, 32-years-old, has been charged with sexual assault of a child under 17 years of age and improper relationship with a student. The alleged incidents are said to have occurred on August 1 and August 14, 2018, while Laidlaw was working as the student’s hip hop teacher at Cornerstone Academy Middle School.

The student’s allegations are disturbing. The student has told investigators that, after exchanging phone numbers with Laidlaw, they began to communicate with one another, until, one day at the end of the student’s 7th-grade year, the teacher told the girls that “she had feelings for her.” The teacher, the student says, would ask her to sneak out of her house. When the student said “no,” Laidlaw would show up anyhow after her mother had left for work.

The two would meet in Laidlaw’s car, where the student says Laidlaw touched her inappropriately and kissed her. The student says this happened more than once. The young girl also says that Laidlaw sent her pictures of her breasts, and asked the student to do the same. The victim says she refused.

Soon thereafter, the victim’s father discovered the texts on the student’s phone and confronted her. After his daughter disclosed the alleged inappropriate conduct, Cornerstone Academy Middle School was informed of the misconduct. When police showed up to investigate, Laidlaw refused to give them a statement.

In a statement, Spring Branch Independent School District said:

“The Houston Police Department (HPD) has notified Spring Branch ISD Police that HPD has arrested a Cornerstone Academy teacher, Whitney (Grunder) Laidlaw, for alleged crimes involving an improper relationship with a student. When the allegations came to the district’s attention last week, we immediately removed Mrs. Laidlaw from the classroom and placed her on administrative leave. The alleged incidents reportedly occurred during the summer break and did not occur on school property. We are outraged by this alleged conduct.”

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