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Redlands teacher pleads not guilty to 41 counts of sex with minors

Laura Whitehurst, July 8, 2013
July 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Redlands teacher accused of having sex with her students appeared in court to face new charges Tuesday. Laura Whitehurst pleaded not guilty to charges she had sex with students. Authorities say one of the victims is the father of her child.

Former Citrus Valley High and Redlands High teacher Laura Whitehurst, 28, has been charged with 41 felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and oral copulation with a minor under the age of 18.

Whitehurst gave birth to a child last month, allegedly fathered by one of the alleged victims, a 17-year-old student who was 16 during the time of their alleged relationship.

In court Tuesday she entered a plea of not guilty.

Whitehurst, a student activities advisor at the school, was arrested a week ago and was released after posting bail. That is, until she was put back behind bars Monday after two additional alleged male victims claimed they had sex with her while they were minors.

"The first 30 counts are basically sex with a minor, or an underage person. And then the other remaining counts are oral copulation with a person under the age of 18. There are three named victims in this case," said prosecutor Melissa Rodriguez.

"She's a clean-cut American girl sitting in jail, so she's having a hard time, but she will be OK," said Whitehurst's defense attorney, James Gass.

In the first case that came to the attention of authorities, police say Whitehurst and a 16-year-old student would meet at her Redlands apartment complex. They say that teen fathered a child with Whitehurst.

Police say the young man's parents found out about their son's nearly yearlong sexual relationship with Whitehurst and went to police.

Gass says the allegations of sex with minors against his client date back several years.

Details about the cases involving the other two alleged victims have not been disclosed. However, a man came forward and told Eyewitness News last week that he had a sexual relationship with Whitehurst during his junior year at Redlands Valley High school.

"Her and I had a physical sexual relationship," said Cooper.

Whitehurst was held in custody on $750,000 bond. If convicted of all the charges, she could go to prison for 29 years.


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