REDLANDS – One week after a Redlands high school English teacher was arrested for unlawful sex with an underage student, 41 felony counts were filed by county prosecutors.
Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, 28, was scheduled to appear in court today, Tuesday 7/9, to face charges, according to a release by the San Bernardino County District Attorney on Monday. She was re-arrested on Monday on charges that include 30 counts of unlawful sex with a boy who is now 17, and 11 counts of oral copulation, one of which was to a man who is now 21-years-old, and 10 more that involved man who is now 22.
Whitehurst, who resigned from the Redlands Unified School District last week, gave birth to a baby girl on June 18. Police said the child was fathered by a 17-year-old student, a recent graduate from Citrus Valley High School. Investigators reported that Whitehurst became romantically involved with the student last summer during a school-sponsored trip to Disneyland. During the course of that relationship, Whitehurst became pregnant.
Bail was increased to $750,000, an amount reached after two more victims were discovered since the original charges. One of those reported to have had sex with Whitehurst, Michael Cooper, 22, appeared on at least two Southern California newscasts to account for his relationship while a student Redlands High School. One other unnamed student, who apparently turned 21 in recent days, was reported to have had sex with Whitehurst when he was a 14-year-old freshman at Redlands High School.
Among the evidence against Whitehurst is DNA taken from the baby and matched with the now 17-year-old. Other evidence apparently includes photographs that places the baby’s father in the delivery room at the time of the child’s birth.
More investigations are taking place on whether school district personnel, including Citrus Valley Principal Bernard Cavanaugh and Assistant Superintendent Sabine Robertson-Phillips reported to proper authorities after discovering the relationship between Whitehurst and her baby’s father. State law provides mandatory reporting within the first 24 hours after any suspicion of unlawful conduct between a teacher and an underage student. School district personnel have denied that they deliberately failed to report the relationships two months before Whitehurst’s arrest on July 1. Reportedly, Whitehurst and the student were questioned by school personnel in mid-May. She faces 29 years in state prison if convicted on all charges.
Redlands Patch: Whitehurst Now Accused of 41 Sex Felonies with Former Students
CrimeVoice: Redlands Teacher Arrested After Having Baby With Student