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Redlands high school teacher may face sex charges, police say

A Redlands high school teacher arrested this week after giving birth to a baby allegedly fathered by one of her students may have had inappropriate sexual relationships with three students from two schools, authorities say.

Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, 28, joined the Redlands Unified School District six years ago as an English teacher at Redlands High School and allegedly began sexual relationships with two boys, one as young as 14, authorities say.

Whitehurst was arrested Monday night on suspicion of having a sexual relationship with a then-16-year-old Citrus Valley High School student that lasted nearly a year, authorities said. Whitehurst gave birth on June 18 to a son fathered by that student, said Cmdr. Shawn Ryan of the Redlands Police Department. Whitehurst remains free on $25,000 bail.

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Redlands police began their investigation after the student’s mother alerted school officials.

San Bernardino County prosecutors say they have been in contact with Redlands police and expect to review possible charges early next week.

Since Whitehurst’s arrest, other former students have come forward.

Police said a 20-year-old man told detectives that he began his relationship with her in the fall of 2007 when he was a 14-year-old freshman, Redlands police said.

He said he and Whitehurst had sex in her classroom before school, in her apartment and in her car, said Redlands police spokesman Carl Baker. He told police the relationship ended in early 2008.

Another alleged victim, now 22, told police he had a sexual relationship with the teacher at Redlands High. He said the relationship took place when he was a junior at the high school in 2007 and 2008, according to Baker.

The man told authorities the relationship began after they discussed an English paper about dreams and Whitehurst told him she had a dream about kissing him. Whitehurst left Redlands High in 2009 and worked at another school before transferring to Citrus Valley High.

Whitehurst has acknowledged having contact with at least one of the two Redlands High boys outside the normal classroom setting. The teacher attended school in Redlands before graduating from UC Santa Barbara. She has also served as the girls varsity assistant soccer coach. Her father was a senior administrator at the school district.

Redlands Unified School District said she resigned July 2.

The investigation into Whitehurst is ongoing and authorities are asking anyone with additional information to contact Det. Natasha Crawford at (909) 798-7623.

richard.winton@latimes.com


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