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Teacher-teen relationship ‘ongoing,’ teen at baby’s birth, police say

Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst was charged with 41 sex crimes against three minors.
(Redlands police)

Police say a Redlands high school teacher who had a student’s baby admitted to them that she had an “ongoing sexual relationship” with the boy.

Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, 28, was arrested last week on suspicion of having sex numerous times with a Citrus Valley High School student. She gave birth last month to a child fathered by the now 17-year-old student. After her arrest, two other former students came forward saying they had had sex with her during her six years as teacher in the Redlands Unified School District.

According to a July 3 search warrant, Whitehurst allegedly acknowledged during a recorded phone call with the boy that they had had an “ongoing sexual relationship, the birth of the child and [the unidentified victim] being the father of the child.”

The boy’s mother reported the relationship on July 1 to Citrus Valley High School officials. He then admitted to police that he had a more than yearlong sexual relationship with Whitehurst.

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Redlands detectives had the boy call the AP English teacher so they could gather more proof that she had sex with the minor repeatedly.

Later, during questioning by detectives, Whitehurst admitted having sex with the boy numerous times, police said. She told investigators they began having sex at her apartment after a Disneyland trip in 2012.

The sexual relationship continued after she became pregnant in September 2012, and the boy was present when she gave birth to the child on June 18, according to the search warrant.

After her arrest, two other former students came forward saying they had sex with her.

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On Monday, prosecutors charged Whitehurst with 41 felony counts of sexual intercourse and oral copulation in connection with three boys.

“Students represent the future of our communities and protecting them will continue to be my number one priority,” San Bernardino County Dist. Atty. Michael Ramos said.

Ramos on Monday asked that her bail be increased to $750,000. Whitehurst was released last week on $25,000 bond.

Whitehurst 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.

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She was charged with sex crimes involving both those boys, who are now men.

Police said a 20-year-old man told detectives he began his relationship with her in the fall of 2007 when he was a 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. The former student told police the relationship ended in early 2008.

Another alleged victim, now 22, told police he had a sexual relationship with Whitehurst while she was his 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.

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

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Twitter: @lacrimes| Google+

richard.winton@latimes.com


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