Former Iowa Christian School Teacher Admits to Grooming, Having Physical Relationship with Her Student After School Hours

Kristen Gantt
Kristen Gantt Twitter

A former Dowling Catholic High School teacher is now pleading guilty after being charged for an alleged sexual relationship with a student.

Online court records show Kristen Gantt, 36, entered a written plea of guilty Friday to one count of sexual exploitation by a school employee. The charge is a misdemeanor, as reported by WHO13.

Gantt She had previously been charged in February of 2023 with two counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee, one a class D felony and one a misdemeanor. Gantt faces a prison sentence of up to two years and a fine of up to $8,500. She'll also be placed on the Sex Offender Registry.

Gantt Got Physical with the Student in Her Clas After School Hours

Investigators with the West Des Moines Police Department said Gantt sexually exploited a 17-year-old male student during February and March of 2023.

A criminal complaint filed in the case stated Gantt admitted to investigators that a physical relationship did occur between herself and the victim. The alleged physical contact happened in Gantt's classroom after school hours on at least five separate occasions between February and March.

Court documents claim that she and the student exchanged messages on their school email accounts, private emails, and Instagram dating back to December of 2022.

'You Look Annoyingly Good Today'

The application states the student had a hard home life and confided in Gantt, but emails of encouragement allegedly turned into messages via multiple platforms that investigators found concerning.

One of the messages, as stated in the application, shows the student sending a shirtless photo of himself to Gantt asking, "What do you think about this?" with her replying "I think you know."

Another conversation presented in the application via Instagram shows the pair scheduling a meeting outside of school for yoga. A later message from Gantt said, "Thanks for coming."

The application shows another attempt to meet outside of school to see the movie "Top Gun Maverick," which did not happen due to the weather. Other messages were displayed in the application, one of Gantt messaging the student "you look annoyingly good today."