A Redlands, Calif., high school teacher who gave birth to a baby allegedly fathered by a teen student has been arrested for having sex with the male pupil.
Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, 28, was arrested Monday evening after being questioned at her home in Redlands.
She is a teacher at Citrus Valley High School, according to the Redlands Police Department, which issued a news release on the arrest Tuesday afternoon.
Whitehurst was taken into custody on suspicion on unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and was released after posting $25,000 bail Monday evening.
The student was 16 at the time of the nearly year-long alleged relationship, according to police.
"One thing led to another, and he ended up at her residence, and it's been going on, going for approximately one year now," said Redlands police Cmdr. Shawn Ryan.
"She was open with her pregnancy. I don't know what her story was to everybody else, but it was an open pregnacy," Ryan added. "The school district knew about it."
The mother of the alleged victim, who is now 17, on Monday reported the relationship to the Redlands Unified School District, which in turn contacted police, according to Carl Baker, a police spokesman.
Whitehurst had given birth to a baby on June 18, the news release stated.
“Investigators say the child was fathered by the teen,” the news release stated.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has not yet received a case from police, according to spokesman Chris Lee.
Baker said police were still investigating. No booking photo of Whitehurst is available at this time, he said. The photo at right is from Citrus Valley High School's 2013 yearbook.
At an afternoon news conference, Baker issued a brief statement from the school district, which stated that the teacher had been placed on leave after police were notifed of the allegations. Whitehurst was not named in the statement, and the district said it would not comment at this time.
"The district takes this arrest very seriously," the statement read. "Our heart goes out to the victim and his family."
According to the school's online staff directory, Whitehurst is an English teacher.
Students who spoke to NBC4 Southern California lauded her performance as a teacher.
Citrus Valley High School has about 2,200 students, according to state records. It graduated its first senior class in 2012.
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Natasha Crawford at (909) 798-7623 or Redlands Police Dispatch at (909) 798-7681.
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