News Column

Whitehurst Had Sexual Relationship with Student who Fathered her Child, Say Police

July 4, 2013

Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst gave birth on June 18 to a child police believe was fathered by the victim, who was 16 years old at the time the child was conceived, officials said.

Whitehurst, now 28, began her relationship with the teen last summer during a school activity, according to police Cmdr. Shawn Ryan, who led the investigation. Their relationship lasted for nearly a year until the victim's mother reported it to school officials, who relayed the information to police on Monday, police said.

Whitehurst taught English and oversaw other school activities at CVHS, including Compact Club and Link Crew. She was an assistant coach of the CVHS girls varsity soccer team in 2010.

During her high school years, Whitehurst ran track and cross country at Redlands East Valley High School.

She received a bachelor's degree from UC Santa Barbara in 2006 with a major in English and a minor in history, according to a bio at PeekYou.com, and attended the University of Redlands, where she earned a master's degree.

Her father, Dale Whitehurst, has been a teacher and administrator with the school district for many years. He now teaches English at Beattie Middle School in Highland.

Whitehurst and her family were unable to be reached for comment on Tuesday.

She was arrested at her residence around 8:45 p.m. Monday after cooperating with law enforcement, Ryan said. Whitehurst was released later that evening after posting $25,000 bail and is expected in court for a preliminary hearing in 45 to 90 days, police said.

Police have not identified any other victims, said city spokesman Carl Baker.

The boy police say was the victim is now 17 and graduated from CVHS last month, according to Ryan, who spoke at a press conference outside the Police Annex downtown on Tuesday afternoon.

Whitehurst has been placed on leave, meaning she can not be on school property or participate in Redlands Unified School District activities, according to Sabine Robertson-Phillips, the district's assistant superintendent of human resources.

"Nothing is as important to us as the safety of our students, and the district takes this arrest very seriously," Robertson-Phillips said in a phone interview. "We are fully cooperating with police in their investigation of this matter. Because we don't want to jeopardize the ongoing investigation, we don't want to comment further at this time."

Staff writer Doug Saunders contributed to this report.

Correction: A previous version of this story originally published on Tuesday, July 2, erroneously reported that Whitehurst coached AYSO soccer. She did not.






Source: Copyright Redlands Daily Facts (CA) 2013


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