Female Missouri Teacher Arrested for Sending Revealing Videos, Photos to 16-Year-Old Student, Soliciting Sexual Favor From Teen

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Rikki Lyn Laughlin
Rikki Lyn Laughlin Facebook

A teacher at St. James High School in Phelps County, Missouri, was charged with multiple crimes after police said she exchanged illicit photos and videos with a student.

Rikki Lyn Laughlin, 24, was charged with six crimes including furnishing pornographic material to a minor and attempted statutory rape for her alleged behavior with a 16-year-old student.

Laughlin Reached Out to Student Via Snapchat Before Sending Him the Explicit Content

According to a probable cause statement obtained by local news outlet KSDK, Major Scott John with the Maries County Sheriff's Office launched an investigation after receiving a tip from a Phelps County detective on Oct. 19 about an inappropriate relationship at the school. Early in the investigation, John discovered Laughlin was sending videos to a student.

In the probable cause statement, John said he went to interview the 16-year-old victim the next day. The student said Laughlin reached out to him on Snapchat. The victim said the conversations escalated quickly and Laughlin sent him nude photos and videos of herself. He said she also requested he send nude photos of himself, which he did on two occasions.

The victim said Laughlin also tried to solicit sex from the victim. According to the probable cause statement, the victim said Laughlin told him to delete the photos and videos and said she could go to jail over what they were doing.

The same day, John interviewed Laughlin. She initially denied the relationship but later said she was talking with the student over Snapchat. She said she didn't know the victim was a minor until the day before the interview.

Laughlin Placed on Leave Following Allegations

Laughlin was charged with promoting obscenity, furnishing pornographic material to a minor, second-degree attempted statutory rape, tampering with a witness, tampering with physical evidence and possession of child sexual assault materials. According to online court documents, her bond was set at $100,000.

Superintendent Tim Webster confirmed a staff member had been arrested and charged. Webster said the staff member was placed on leave.

"The District takes these matters seriously and reported allegations to appropriate outside agencies, including law enforcement," Webster said in a statement. "We have been actively cooperating with these agencies since the initial report.

"Our top priority remains the safety and well-being of our students, and we do not tolerate any policy or law violations within our educational community," Webster's statement read.

This article was first published on October 25, 2023