A Vancouver, Washington, high school teacher is accused of sending sexually explicit messages, including a nude photos of herself to a 17-year-old student.
Shelley R. Leatherwood, 45, appeared in court on Friday on suspicion of felony communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.
Leatherwood was arrested Thursday after the 17-year-old student at Mountain View High School reported her alleged conduct to school staff.
'I Should Go to Jail About How I Feel About You'
The student told detectives Leatherwood had been giving him "hints" that she may be romantically interested in him through her body language, as reported by The Columbian. He said she gave him her cellphone number on a sticky note in early December. He said she told him, "I know you haven't texted me, but if anyone found out I could be fired," according to the affidavit.
He said he texted Leatherwood on Dec. 25 and wished her a merry Christmas. After chatting, the student said the conversation became sexual, leading up to Leatherwood sending him a nude photo, court records state.
Detectives observed the text exchange, which court records show included detailed sexual messages and plans to meet. In one of the messages, Leatherwood acknowledged the student was 17 and later said, "OK as long as nobody knows." In another message, Leatherwood writes, "I probably should go to jail about how I feel about you!" the affidavit reads.
After she sent the nude photo, court records state Leatherwood texted, "I can't believe I sent that! It's a mistake." Leatherwood's face was partially visible in the photo, and the cellphone number the texts came from matched Leatherwood's school district records, according to the affidavit.
Leatherwood Placed on Leave
The student also told detectives Leatherwood liked another 17-year-old student, but the teacher told him she wouldn't pursue the other student because that student had a girlfriend, according to the affidavit.
A letter sent to parents from the district said they were made aware of the allegations on January 3 and placed Leatherwood on leave.
Deputy Prosecutor Kelly Ryan also requested the judge find probable cause for an allegation of first-degree attempted sexual misconduct with a minor. He said it's the statute for when a teacher attempts to engage in sexual intercourse with a student.
Judge David Gregerson granted the request and set Leatherwood's bail at $20,000. She is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 13. She is currently being held at the Clark County Jail.