Authorities in Louisiana say a charter school teacher was arrested this week on suspicion of raping one of her young students.
According to the New York Post, 34-year-old Deidre R. Smith was arrested on Tuesday, the same day the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office reportedly received a report of an “inappropriate relationship” between her and a 10-year-old boy.
Investigators believe the Lake Charles Charter Academy educator was engaged in a physical relationship with her student that was ongoing at the time of the report. Evidence reportedly suggests she began having sex with him late last year.
The alleged inappropriate contact occurred away from campus, as reported by KPLC.
“Once the allegation was reported, the school promptly took steps to contact authorities who are now conducting the investigation,” Judge Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, the school’s president, said.
Smith is expected to face criminal charges including rape in the first degree and indecent behavior with a juvenile. Authorities indicate she could still face additional counts.
Though the school could not comment specifically, a spokesperson affirmed that administrators “do not tolerate any behavior that compromises our safety standards” and are “fully cooperating with law enforcement” during the investigation.
“We believe this was an isolated incident and no other students were involved,” the spokesperson said.
Thibodeaux issued a statement explaining that the investigation was “incomplete and ongoing,” adding that if the claims against Smith are “verified” she will be “subject to termination.”
[Featured image: Deidre R. Smith, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office]