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Missouri school employee charged with statutory rape

Most people in Missouri are acquainted with various incidents where school personnel are accused of inappropriate conduct with a student. These kinds of accusations are now being leveled against an employee at a high school in the St. Louis area who has been accused of statutory rape.

Police have arrested a teacher's aide employed by the school district in Wentzville, Missouri, in connection with accusations of sexual contact. Police claim that the teacher's aide, 29, had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old over a five-month period.

The aide was charged with one count of sexual contact with a student and two counts of statutory rape. Police state that the arrest was made after a four-month-long investigation. School officials say the woman resigned her position with the school district after the allegations were made.

One noteworthy aspect of this situation is the evidence against the teacher's aide. Although details of the evidence against the employee are sparse, it may be the case that the only proof they have is the statements of the student. Thus, it may be the student's word against the employee's.

In situations like this, when a case rests on one person's word against another's, it may be necessary to examine what kind of history the two individuals have outside of the alleged sexual relationship. For example, if other, unrelated conflicts have arisen in the past between an accuser and a defendant, those should be taken into consideration when assessing the credibility of the allegations.

Finally, and most important, the prosecution must prove its case against the teacher beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Wentzville teacher's aide charged with sexual contact with teenage student," Valerie Schremp Hahn, Aug. 18, 2012

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