A former teacher at The Woodlands Christian Academy in Woodlands, Texas, has been sentenced after she was convicted of having an improper relationship with an 18-year-old female student.
Lacey Jo Cunningham, 34, of Conroe was sentenced to three years in prison on Thursday, Jan 20 by Judge Lisa Michalk, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. She was charged with improper relationship between educator and student, a second-degree felony, which was handed down by the Grand Jury in 2019 and re-indicted on July 13, 2021.
Cunningham Had At Least 20 Sexual Encounters with the Student
According to court records, Cunningham, who was an Anatomy teacher and a basketball coach at the Woodlands Chrisitan Academy, engaged in sexual contact with a female student at the school while the student was an adult. The incident came to light when the student told her mother about it. The victim claimed to have had at least twenty sexual encounters with Cunningham starting about August 16, 2019.
According to court records, Cunningham ordered the student to delete messages each morning. According to the student, Cunningham would give her rides to church, engage in slumber parties at Cunninghams' apartment, where Cunningham kissed her over her entire body. Cunningham would also serve her vodka in Snapple Tea.
Cunningham Threatened to Commit Suicide If She Told Anyone About the Relationship
At one point Cunningham threatened to take her own life if the student told anyone of the incident. When the student told Cunningham she was interested in a boy at school, Cunningham forbid it, telling the student that she was hers.
Cunningham initially told investigators that the student-initiated the sleepovers at Cunninghams' apartment and even had a key. However, Cunningham told them even though they shared the same bed she had never inappropriately touched her. Cunningham also denied having any feelings toward the student and denied ever having a sexual relationship with another woman.
At the time of the arrest in 2019 Woodlands Christian Academy released the following statement: "Our student's safety is our top priority, and this is a deeply troubling situation. We are committed to supporting our students and community during this time. The teacher was terminated, and we will continue to assist law enforcement with their investigation."
In Texas, the age of consent is 17 years. However, the state also has a improper relationship law that prohibits any primary or secondary school teacher to engage in sexual activity with a student.