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Yucaipa high school teacher suspected of having sex with student

Sheila Heacock, who also goes by Sheila Roostai, is a Spanish teacher at Yucaipa High School. She was arrested Friday on suspicion of having sex with a 16-year-old male student.
(San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department)

Authorities in Yucaipa have arrested a high school Spanish teacher on suspicion of having sex with a 16-year-old student, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

An administrator at Yucaipa High School told deputies Wednesday about a possible inappropriate relationship between the male student and Sheila Heacock, 44.

The next day, detectives contacted the teen, who told them the alleged sexual abuse had occurred between January and March of this year.

Heacock, an 18-year veteran of the school district, was arrested and booked on one felony count each of oral copulation with a minor, penetration by a foreign object with a minor, contact with a minor to commit an offense, and unlawful sexual intercourse.

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Heacock and the victim allegedly drove to a remote location near the intersection of Butterfly Drive and Wildwood Canyon Road, about 10 miles from the high school, where the alleged incidents occurred, said Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department.

None of the alleged incidents happened on school grounds, or at the teen’s home or Heacock’s home, Bachman added.

Heacock, who goes by the name Sheila Roostai, could not be reached for comment Friday.

District officials said they were fully cooperating with investigators and have placed Heacock on paid administrative leave, as is protocol in such situations.

“Of course our very first concern is about the safety and well-being of our children,” said Cali Binks, superintendent of the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District. “We take these matters very seriously, and our heart goes out to the families of all parties involved.”

Authorities are now trying to determine whether there are other potential victims. Heacock taught at three elementary schools in the district before transferring to Yucaipa High School three years ago, Binks said.

“There’s always a possibility when someone has daily contact with minors that there may have been some other unlawful behavior,” Bachman said, “and in this case, the suspect has been a teacher for 18 years.”

Heacock is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in San Bernardino County Superior Court.

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The Sheriff’s Department is encouraging anyone with knowledge about the situation to call the Crimes Against Children detail at (909) 357-3615.

christine.maiduc@latimes.com

Twitter: @cmaiduc


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