John O. Thompson

Just one year after a high school principal had sex with his 17-year-old student, another teacher at the same school has been arrested for rape of a student – the day after the well-liked instructor gave the spring commencement speech.

John O. Thompson was an exceptionally popular teacher among his students at Sussex Central High School in Georgetown, Del. – so admired that the student body nominated Thompson to speak at the school’s graduation Monday night.

But less than 24 hours after his speech, Delaware state troopers arrested the 26-year-old teacher for rape of a 15-year-old female student.

Two students informed administrators that Thompson was having sex with their sophomore friend at the teacher’s home and in his car.

Detectives executed a search warrant and said they found evidence of the assault at Thompson’s home and in his car indicating that he had sexual contact with the girl at least two times.

The girl’s father told WGMD 92.7 that he hadn’t allowed his young daughter to have a cell phone, but he recently learned that Thompson bought one for her.

He told the “Jared Morris Show” the family is stunned by the news. He said his daughter is modest and doesn’t have a boyfriend.

“She was not those girls that you see that look like they’re 22. She looked like she was all of 14,” he said. “She’s just a sweet, sweet girl. Everyone that knows her, all the teachers that know her, will tell you that.”

Indian River School Board member Don Hattier said Thompson’s arrest came as a shock.

“Here was a guy who was very popular with (students),” he said. “You could tell that. He got along with the kids well, obviously he was influencing them in, I am going to say a positive way – or I would have said that two days ago.”

Dana Goodman, fomer principal

A spokesman for the Indian River School District said the teacher was immediately suspended without pay. Thompson has been charged with first-degree rape and unlawful sexual contact. He reportedly failed to pay $5,500 in secured bail and was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown.

Thompson’s case is the second incident of administrators having sex with students at the high school in one year.

Former Sussex Central High School principal Dana Goodman, 38, pleaded guilty and was convicted of repeatedly having sex with his 17-year-old student in his vehicle and at various motels in 2008.

Several parents told WBOC reporters the news of Goodman’s arrest was shocking but that they weren’t surprised because they had heard rumors of the principal’s involvement with teachers and students for a year.

Goodman, formerly a middle school teacher, was originally sentenced to 32 years but had his sentenced reduced to four years upon completion of an intensive sex-offender rehabilitation program.

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