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THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2007
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Teacher charged with having sex with 14-year-old

LEROY (AP) — A Washington County teacher was arrested and charged with having sex with a 14-year-old boy who attended one of her classes.

Sheriff Richard Stringer said Charlene Schmitz, a 54-year-old teacher at Leroy High School, was charged with rape and sodomy Friday after the boy's mother gave authorities dozens of sexually explicit e-mails she claimed Schmitz sent to her son.

"We questioned witnesses, and the boy confessed to what was going on," Stringer told the Press-Register in a story Wednesday. "He said it had been happening since April, mostly at her residence."

The boy's mother found the e-mails on her son's computer, printed them out and brought them to the sheriff's office.

"There were graphic exchanges about oral sex," Stringer said. "Things you wouldn't expect a teacher to be sending a child, a student."

He said officers confiscated computers and cell phones at the boy's home and at Schmitz's house to confirm the e-mails printed by the mother.

Investigators were still analyzing the contents of Schmitz's computer Wednesday.

It was not immediately known what action was taken by the Washington County School Board. A man answering the telephone at Leroy High said principal Larry Massey would be available for comment Monday.

Stringer said Schmitz was released from jail on a $40,000 bond.

"I've been in law enforcement most of my life, and I have heard of cases where a young teacher right out of college becomes involved with students in high school, but never an age difference like this," he said.

Schmitz is scheduled to make her first court appearance on July 24. Leroy High School serves grades kindergarten through 12 and has 817 students.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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