A teacher’s aide at a high school in Washington state had sex with a 17-year-old boy who told deputies the two plan to be together once he turns 18, authorities said.
Wendy Wagoner, a 49-year-old paraprofessional at Graham Kapowsin High School in Pierce County, was charged Thursday with first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor and communication with a minor for immoral purposes after a school employee caught her kissing the teen last month, according to charging documents obtained by the Tacoma News Tribune.
Wagoner, who oversaw the teen’s specialized educated plan, later resigned from her job after district launched an investigation into the allegation, saying she “did not deserve” the probe, records show.
The teen, meanwhile, told deputies that he and Wagoner planned to be together romantically once he turns 18, according to charging documents.
“She is my everything,” the teen said — although both he and Wagoner denied having a sexual relationship.
The teen even used his cellphone to search for the legal age of consent in Washington, as well as possible penalties for a student-teacher relationship, the newspaper reports.
The age of consent in Washington state is 16, but there are several exceptions, including when sex acts occur between a teacher and a student. The state’s Supreme Court has ruled that the law applies to students up to the age of 21.
Investigators also found explicit text messages between Wagoner and the teen, including some sent during school hours.
“I knew what I was doing was wrong, and I’m beating myself up really bad right now,” Wagoner told detectives.
Pierce County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott Peters told KIRO that Wagoner told the teen to delete any record of messages they exchanged. Peters said several messages show that they had a sexual relationship, but Wagoner was not charged with raping the teen because he was 17 when the alleged contact occurred.
“For a child rape charge, you need a child under the age of 16,” Peters told the station.
Wagoner also ignored orders by detectives to stay away from the student multiple times, instead opting to use different phones to continue communicating with the teen. A neighbor later reported seeing her hugging the teen last week, deputies said.
Wagoner, of Spanaway, has pleaded not guilty. She was released from Pierce County Jail after posting $50,000 bail, online records show. She could not be reached for comment Friday.
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