Saturday, August 25, 2012

Former Bethel teacher arrested on rape complaint involving student


BETHEL ACRES — A high school English teacher was arrested on complaint of rape involving a male student two days after she submitted her resignation, authorities said.

Wendy Hickman, 40, who taught at Bethel High School, was arrested Thursday in connection with an incident that reportedly occurred in July, Pottawatomie County Undersheriff J.T. Palmer said.

Palmer said law officers searching the student’s cellphone found inappropriate photos of the teacher and text messages of a sexual nature, Palmer said.

Bethel Schools Superintendent Jerry Johnson said the district has “fully cooperated” with law officers. He said sheriff’s investigators were contacted after the victim’s mother showed him nude photos of the teacher on the student’s phone.
Hickman resigned from the district Tuesday, Johnson said. He said Hickman was hired about two years ago.
Counselors are available to students who need counseling, he said.

“We’re a very proud school system, and we have always excelled,” Johnson said. “It’s a blow to all of us and to her family. Our job is to keep students protected and to help kids.”

Hickman was released from the Pottawatomie County jail on $15,000 bail.

No charges had been filed at Pottawatomie County District Court, a court clerk said Friday.

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