The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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June 18, 2013

Ex-Iowa teacher receives prison for sexual contact

ALLISON — A former math teacher at a rural Iowa high school headed to prison Monday after a judge sentenced her to up to five years for engaging in sex acts with three male students.

Ashley Nicole Anderson’s sentence was shorter than the term of up to 10 years that the Iowa Attorney General’s Office sought for the 25-year-old former Aplington-Parkersburg High School teacher. But assistant attorney general Scott Brown and Superintendent Jon Thompson said it still sends a strong message of deterrence to educators who would consider having sexual contact with students.

“If you engage in this type of conduct and you are convicted, you are going to prison. There is no way around that,” Brown said after the sentencing. “It’s a pretty severe consequence, not to mention the fact they lose licensing, a career, reputation and all those other things that go with being a school teacher.”

Anderson was charged last fall after an investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation alleged she had improper sexual contact with four students during the 2011-2012 school year, her second there. Police said that she engaged in sex acts with male students between the ages of 16 and 18 whom she had in class or met through other school roles, which included adviser for the prom committee and Students Against Drunk Driving and an assistant track coach.

Anderson admitted to the relationships during a police interview, and said she had sent nude photographs of herself and text messages to all four, according to a criminal complaint.

Under a plea agreement reached in April, Anderson pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee. Prosecutors dismissed a fourth count involving a student who had engaged in kissing and touching with Anderson, Brown said.

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