An Arkansas mother of five accused of having sex with one of her junior high school students may have had sex with three other juveniles in another school district.
Federal investigators with the FBI and U.S. Customs Service are now assisting local police in the investigation of Deanna Bobo.
The 37-year-old special education teacher at Raymond E. Wells Junior High School in Greenwood, Ark., is already on paid suspension for allegedly having sex twice with a 14-year-old boy in his own bed while his parents were not home.
Her attorney entered a plea of not guilty on Bobo’s behalf to avoid an appearance in court.
Now, according to KFSM-TV in Fort Smith, Ark., authorities say the potential victims they’re investigating are not students at Wells Jr. High but rather attended another school where Bobo taught. Their ages have not been specified, but police say they were all juveniles at the time of the alleged contact.
“There is so much more pressure on the investigation now because more people know about it,” Sgt. James Flynn of the Greenwood Police Department told the station. “There are more questions being asked. It’s also publicity that you really don’t want for your community in that way, shape or form. We don’t want people to learn about Greenwood on national news because of something like this.”
Flynn is not surprised, though, by the national interest.
“We kind of figured it would be once we got the case, simply because it’s a female teacher and a younger male student,” he said. “I think had it been a male teacher and a female student, it wouldn’t have been the story that it was.”
KFSM also obtained documents with more details on the current case involving the 14-year-old boy, who was taught and tutored by Bobo, and attended church together.
The student allegedly told police Bobo said not to tell anyone of the sexual encounters, though he eventually informed his best friend. The documents note the boy’s mother discovered e-mails between the pair on her son’s computer. The boy’s father contacted authorities and submitted nine e-mails as evidence.
When police interviewed Bobo, she reportedly denied being sexually involved with a student, indicating she had never been alone with a pupil where an incident could have taken place.
She’s charged with sexual assault, a first-degree felony punishable by 10 to 30 years in prison if convicted.
This week, in perhaps the highest profile case of a teacher accused of having sex with one of her students, 25-year-old Debra Lafave changed her plea from not guilty by reason of insanity to guilty.
Lafave, a teacher at Greco Middle School in the Tampa area, had been charged with having both oral sex and full intercourse with the boy on campus in June 2004.
Though she could have received decades behind bars, Lafave will serve three years under house arrest, and seven years probation.