Friday, November 2, 2007
6th Grade Teacher, Kelsey Peterson and 13 Year Old Fernando Rodriguez Ditch School To Run Away? Update 9-30
Those demanding sex education be taught in schools may be getting more than they argued. Inappropriate teacher conduct has hit Nebraska hard. Fernando Rodriguez, a 13-year-old boy and Kelsey Peterson, a 25 year old female middle school teacher are believed to be on the lamb running from Nebraska police. The pair disappeared after an investigating had been initiated as to whether the pair had an intimate relationship. (While hundreds of teenage boys across the country may be cheering them on, it remains a crime.)
Sixth grade teacher Kelsey Peterson is suppose to be teaching math and coaching basketball. However, she was placed on administrative leave from Lexington Middle School pending the results of the investigation. Now, a judge has issued an arrest warrant charging her with kidnapping, child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. They are thought to be traveling together in Peterson's car. "We're still focused on locating both of them, whether they're together or not," Dawson County Attorney Elizabeth Waterman said.
Apparently, several e-mails and letters document the mutual affection between Peterson and Rodriguez. Rodriguez apparently refers to Peterson as his "Baby Gurl" and explaining that their relationship was "just not about the sex but that it was pretty good," according to pleadings.
The boy's aunt, Laura Rodriguez, apparently told an AM station in Lexington, Nebraska that the family thinks Peterson gave the boy a cell phone so she could reach him more easily. Rodriguez apparently contacted his family over the weekend and said the two were in Grand Island, about 85 miles east of Lexington. Police indicate the couple may have been spotted Friday night at a Denver convenience store and Sunday in Ogallala. They will be caught. After all how hard should it be to spot this odd couple, the one where the teen age boy has a huge grin on his face?
In Paris, Illinois, there is a report of a 25 year old teacher having sex with a 17 year old female student. There are just so many cases in the media that one must conclude that this has become a common problem that needs to be addressed. While home school may be a knee jerk reaction, better solutions need to be found. In the mean time, one must ponder when will these inapropriate student-teacher relationships stop?
Update 11-4 Busted in Mexico: As Legal Pub scooped, teenage boys talk about things like this! Calls from the teen, including to his aunt, provided a trail to Mexico where Kelsey Peterson was arrested in Mexicali in a mall parking lot. The teenager returned to his family.
Update 11-12: The 13-year-old "victim" was an illegal immigrant. He could be eligible to return to the United States with a new visa pursuant to a new law designed to protect victims of sex crimes who testify against their perpetrator. The visa would allow the boy and his family to stay in the U.S. for four years and then make them eligible for permanent residency in the U.S. Teacher Kelsey Peterson is charged with "child abuse" and "kidnapping." Peterson remains in federal custody in El Centro, California without bail. She will likely be returned to Nebraska to face federal charges of crossing state lines to have sex with a minor (punishable by 10 years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.) The boy is apparently willing to testify (perhaps in hopes of securing the visa for he and his family. ) Regardless of promises, the teenager should tell the truth and if a crime was committed then appropriate punishment should be administered!
11-13 Update: Attorney James Martin Davis said that kidnapping charges against Kelsey should be dropped because he went with her willingly. "It's my understanding he was grooming her and she wasn't grooming him.... I see true victims every day. This young man is no victim," Davis said. Davis also suggested that the boy may be 16 or older! He shaves and has a mustache. Davis will seek his Mexican birth certificate.
9-30-08 Update: Kelsey was sentenced to 13 years in prison!