Story Summary

Redlands Teacher Accused of Having Sex With Students

redlands-teacher

Laura Whitehurst, 28
Courtesy: Redlands Daily Facts (2012)

Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, a teacher in the Redlands school district, was arrested after being accused of having sex with a former student.

Police said the now-17-year-old boy fathered Whitehurst’s child.

She also allegedly had relationships with two other boys at Redlands High School several years ago, according to police.

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KTLA) — A Redlands teacher who had admitted to having sexual relations with three of her male students — and a baby with one teen who called her a “predator” — was sentenced to a year in county jail Wednesday.

Laura Whitehurst Redlands Teacher

Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, 28, appears in court on Aug. 28, 2013, to face sentencing.

Laura Whitehurst, 28, had been charged with 41 counts of sex and oral copulation with a minor, but she had pleaded guilty July 31 to just six of the counts. The other charges were dismissed under a plea agreement with the prosecutor.

The deal was intended to help the victims move forward with their lives and to avoid a long trial, the prosecutor had said.

But in court Wednesday, the teenage boy who fathered Whitehurst’s baby daughter called the teacher a “predator,” saying she should have been put in prison for life. He said Whitehurst faced “minimal consequences for stomach-churning behavior.”

The teen’s family had been previously notified of the plea deal and did not protest, San Bernardino Count Deputy District Attorney Melissa Rodriguez told reporters outside the courtroom Wednesday. The two other victims did not want to participate or see Whitehurst charged, and prosecutors had to “balance” the victims’ desires, Rodriguez said.

Whitehurst had agreed to lifetime registration as a sex offender, counseling and five years of probation.

She’s ashamed and has “mostly destructive feelings,” her attorney told reporters after the hearing.

“She’s sitting in out county jail and she doesn’t fit in very well,” attorney James Gass said.

If convicted on all original counts, Whitehurst would have faced up to 29 years in prison, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office had said.

A judge approved the agreement, but told Whitehurst “it’s easy to understand why some think that you should go to state prison right now.”

An attorney for the boy who fathered the child with Whitehurst said the “shocking” sentence was “very short,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Whitehurst received a one-year sentence because she is a woman, attorney Heather Cullen told The Times.

She described the sentence as “a slap in the face to the victims.”

The case became public July 3, when Redlands police announced Whitehurst’s arrest, saying the Citrus Valley High School teacher had a sexual relationship with a student that had lasted nearly a year.

Whitehurst had recently given birth to a child fathered by the 17-year-old student, police said at the time. Court documents showed that both Whitehurst and the boy admitted the relationship to a detective. The boy attended the birth of the couple’s baby girl, according to court documents.

Officials in the Redlands Unified School District had in May questioned Whitehurst and the boy about their relationship, a detective’s affidavit stated, but police were not involved until the boy’s mother complained to the district.

After the arrest was announced, one other victim came forward, telling news media he had had a sexual relationship with Whitehurst several years earlier, when he had been a student at Redlands High School.

Another teen boy also came to authorities with stories of an sexual relationship with Whitehurst. He was a 14-year-old freshman when the relationship began, police said in announcing the two additional victims.

The boy who fathered Whitehurst’s baby had gotten unwanted attention after the case was announced, his attorney Cullen had said. Those comments were echoed in the courtroom Wednesday, according to the Redlands Daily Facts, which reported that the victim’s mother said the boy had been bullied.

Charges against Whitehurst related to all three victims.

The baby will remain with Whitehurst’s parents.

Teacher Arrested After Having Baby With Student, Police Say

Laura Whitehurst pleaded guilty to six counts of sex with a minor.

REDLANDS, Calif. (KTLA) — A former high school teacher who gave birth to a child fathered by one of her teenage students pleaded guilty to sex crimes charges on Wednesday.

Laura Whitehurst, 28, struck a plea deal with San Bernardino County prosecutors in which she admitted guilt to unlawful sexual intercourse and oral copulation of a person under 18.

Whitehurst was a teacher at Citrus Valley High School in Redlands. She resigned from her position earlier this month.

Under the agreement, Whitehurst will spend a year in county jail, according to prosecutors.

She was also placed on five years’ probation and will undergo counseling. She must also register as a sex offender for life.

The former English teacher had faced 41 felony counts of sex crimes with three underage students.

She pleaded guilty to six of the charges; the remaining counts were dismissed.

Whitehurst was arrested on July 1, weeks after giving birth to the child.

A relative of the newborn’s teenage father first alerted the school district about the relationship six weeks before Whitehurst’s arrest, according to a search warrant.

The attorney for the teen, who allegedly fathered a child with 28-year-old teacher Laura Whitehurst, was speaking out on Thursday. Kimberly Cheng has the details.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KTLA) — A Redlands teacher suspected of having a child with an underage student pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday after being charged with 41 felony sex crimes involving three boys.

redlands-teacher-mug

Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst
(Redlands Police / July 8, 2013)

Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, 28, was initially arrested on July 1 on suspicion of having sex with a 16-year-old student.

She was re-arrested on Monday to be officially charged.

A San Bernardino County judge also increased her bail from $25,000 to $750,000.

Whitehurst, who joined the district in 2007, was the student’s adviser at Citrus Valley High School, Redlands police spokesman Carl Baker said in a statement.

On June 18, Whitehurst gave birth to a child fathered by the victim, who is now 17, according to the statement.

The teen was present at the hospital for the birth, police said.

Court records allege that the Redlands school district officials waited six weeks to notify police about accusations of sexual abuse.

The police search warrant alleges that the district began investigating the accusations on May 16 or 17.

However, the district did not notify police or a child protection agency until July 1, when the boy’s mother complained about Whitehurst to school officials.

The warrant sought records that may show “teachers, school administrators and district administrators failed to report suspected child abuse as mandated.”

In a statement, Redlands Unified Supt. Lori Rhodes denied any wrongdoing, saying the district first received credible information when the boy’s mother came forward.

Assistant Supt. Sabine Roberson Phillips called police with the mother present on July 1, Rhodes said — the same day Whitehurst was arrested.

Someone told school officials about an alleged relationship between a teacher and a student in May, but did not provide any evidence, according to Rhodes.

Both the teacher and the student were interviewed and insisted that nothing improper had occurred, Rhodes said.

During the investigation, Redlands detectives got the boy to call Whitehurst in hopes that she would make incriminating statements, according to the warrant.

During the recorded call, Whitehurst allegedly admitted to the sexual relationship and to the boy being the father of the child.

Later, during questioning by detectives, Whitehurst allegedly admitted to having sex with the boy after a school trip to Disneyland in 2012, according to court records.

The other allegations against Whitehurst involve two boys who attended Redlands High School several years ago, police said.

After reading about her arrest, a 22-year-old man contacted the Redlands Daily Facts and claimed he and Whitehurst had a sexual relationship when he was 16.

The man later filed a police report, but told the newspaper he did not intend to press charges.

He said he had been a student in Whitehurts’s English class in 2007, when he was a junior at Redlands High School, according to the newspaper.

Detectives also identified a third victim, who was a 14-year-old freshman when an alleged sexual relationship with Whitehurst began in the fall of 2007, police said.

That accuser, who is now 20, told police that he and Whitehurst had sex in her classroom before school, in her apartment and in her car, Baker said.

Whitehurst is charged with 30 counts of sexual intercourse with a minor and 11 of oral copulation with a minor.

If convicted on all counts, she could face a maximum sentence of up to 29 years in state prison.

REDLANDS, Calif. (KTLA) – Redlands Police announced Wednesday that they had identified two additional victims in the investigation of a 28-year-old high school teacher arrested Monday evening and accused of getting pregnant by a teenage boy.

Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, 28, was arrested and released on bail after being accused of having sex with a 16-year-old boy.

Whitehurst was the student’s adviser at Citrus Valley High School, Redlands police spokesman Carl Baker said in a statement.

On June 18, Whitehurst gave birth to a child fathered by the victim, who is now 17, according to the statement.

After reading a report about Whitehurst’s arrest, a 22-year-old man contacted the Redlands Daily Facts and claimed he and Whitehurst had a sexual relationship he was 16.

The man later filed a police report but told the newspaper he did not intend to press charges.

He said he had been a student in Whitehurst’s English class in 2007, when he was a junior at Redlands High School, according to the newspaper.

Whitehurst said “they had some type of relationship but not to that extent,” according to Redlands police Detective Natasha Crawford, who is leading the investigation.

“Through investigation, detectives also identified another victim, who was a 14-year-old freshman when a sexual relationship began with Whitehurst, also at Redlands High School in the fall of 2007,” according to the police department.

REDLANDS, Calif. (KTLA) — A second former student has come forward claiming to have had a sexual relationship with a Redlands teacher. The accusation comes in the wake of the teacher’s arrest Monday on the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, 28, was arrested and released on bail after being accused of having sex with a 16-year-old boy. Whitehurst was the student’s adviser at Citrus Valley High School, Redlands police spokesman Carl Baker said in a statement.

On June 18, Whitehurst gave birth to a child fathered by the victim, who is now 17, according to the statement.

After reading a report about Whitehurst’s arrest, a 22-year-old man contacted the Redlands Daily Facts and claimed he and Whitehurst had a sexual relationship he was 16. The man later filed a police report but told the newspaper he did not intend to press charges.

He said he had been a student in Whitehurst’s English class in 2007, when he was a junior at Redlands High School, according to the newspaper.

Whitehurst said “they had some type of relationship but not to that extent,” according to Redlands police Detective Natasha Crawford, who is leading the investigation.

Neither the newspaper nor police have identified the alleged second victim, and no charges have been filed against Whitehurst based on his claims.

Anyone with information regarding the matter was asked to contact Det. Natasha Crawford at (909) 798-7623.

REDLANDS, Calif. (KTLA) — A 28-year-old teacher was arrested on suspicion of having sex with a teenage boy who allegedly fathered her child.

redlands-teacher

Laura Whitehurst, 28
Courtesy: Redlands Daily Facts (2012)

Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst was arrested Monday at her home in Redlands.

She allegedly met the 16-year-old victim at Citrus Valley High School where she was his adviser, Redlands police spokesman Carl Baker said in a statement.

The sexual relationship allegedly began last summer and continued for nearly a year.

It finally ended when the boy’s mother contacted school officials who called police.

Whitehurst gave birth to a child June 18 allegedly fathered by the teen, according to the statement.

She was released from jail Monday on $25,000 bail.

Anyone with additional information was asked to contact Detective Natasha Crawford at (909) 798-7623 or Redlands Police Dispatch at (909) 798-7681.

Anonymous tips can be provided by texting 274637 using the keyword “REDTIP.”

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