Teacher Accused of Sex Abuse
Posted 3/3/2005 05:21 PM
Toni Lynn Woods
Photo Credit: West Virginia Regional Jail The Braxton County teacher
admitted having sex with three middle school students, State Police
Story by Christine D’Antonio Email | Bio
A Braxton County middle school teacher is in police custody after
allegedly confessing to sexual misconduct with five of her students.
Toni Lynn Woods, 37, of Strange Creek was arrested Wednesday on
eight counts of sexual assault.
State Police said several students reported they had been treated
or touched inappropriately.
In the criminal compliant filed against Woods, she admitted she
had sexual intercourse with three students a total of four times.
She also admitted to performing oral sex on two different juveniles
a total of four times.
Braxton County Superintendent Carolyn Long wouldn't comment on the
allegations, saying it's a personnel issue. But she said district
officials take allegations of abuse seriously.
"This school system acts immediately," Long said, "and
follows through any way they can to see that that risk is removed."
Woods was being held in the Central Regional Jail in Sutton on $100,000
Braxton County Prosecutor William C. Martin said the State Police
investigation began when a family member of one of the children
Martin said Woods resigned her job as a sixth grade teacher and
permanently surrendered her teaching certificate.
Tenn. Teacher Accused of Sleeping With 13-Year-Old Student
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
McMINNVILLE, Tenn. — A Warren County elementary teacher has
been charged with having a sexual relationship with one of her students,
a 13-year-old boy.
Pamela Rogers Turner , 27, was charged Monday with 15 counts of
sexual battery by an authority figure and 13 counts of statutory
rape . All the charges involved the same boy.
Turner teaches physical education and coached girls basketball at
Centertown Elementary, a Warren County school with grades kindergarten
through eight in McMinnville.
District Attorney General Dale Potter said investigators believe
some of the offenses happened at the school and some at the boy's
Turner lived at the boy's house "for a brief period of time
when she was moving from residence to residence," Potter said
Tuesday. The boy's parents knew she was living there but didn't
know anything about a sexual relationship, Potter said.
Potter declined to comment on the nature of the relationship between
Turner and her student, but he said investigators discovered multiple
acts of sexual intercourse.
"It's attracting attention because it's a female teacher, and
that's a little out of the ordinary," Potter said. "But
for us, a sex abuse case is a sex abuse case."
Turner was recently divorced from Chris Turner, who is the head
boys basketball coach at Warren County High School, according to
the Southern Standard newspaper in McMinnville.
Turner was arrested Monday in Clarkrange, her hometown in Fentress
County about 55 miles northeast of McMinnville, Potter said.
Conviction on all counts could be punished by up to 100 years in
prison. But Potter said it was more likely that a conviction would
mean a minimum of a year to several years in prison.
Arraignment was set for Feb. 23.
Pamela Rogers Turner and her now-estranged
husband, Christopher Turner, had this studio photo included in their
holiday cards a year ago. She now faces felony sex charges involving
a 13-year-old at the school where she teaches.
Teacher's sex case has town in turmoil By ROB JOHNSON, BRAD SCHRADE
and JAY HAMBURG
As nation watches, Warren Co. hamlet struggles with accusations
that 'role model' abused boy, 13
CENTERTOWN, Tenn. — There's a Pamela Rogers Turner —
the sweet-tempered, grade-school teacher who is seen as a role model
And there's a Pamela Rogers Turner who in her college days was the
glitzy Ms. Monday Nitro of World Championship Wrestling at Spring
Break festivities in 1997.
The immense difference in those two images of the 27-year-old married
teacher and coach has left townspeople and acquaintances here confused,
as recent charges thrust this tiny town and its attractive teacher
into a national media storm.
Many here are having a hard time coming to grips with the knowledge
that the district attorney general has filed 28 sexual misconduct
charges, accusing her of having sex with a 13-year-old boy who attended
It's that contrast also that has drawn attention from a national
press corps that has followed two fairly recent and similar cases
of female teachers in Washington and Florida accused of having sex
with minor boys.
Dale Potter, who serves as prosecutor for Warren County, said that,
while some in the media seemed to be highlighting the relationship
of a young boy and an attractive older woman, ''for us, a sex abuse
case is a sex abuse case.''
''It's one thing for kids to think about and fantasize about a potential
Mrs. Robinson,'' he said, referring to a seductive, older woman
character in the movie The Graduate. ''It's another for that Mrs.
Robinson to act.''
Those acts, he said, are felonies, not fantasies.
Turner's estranged husband, Christopher, was not available for comment.
But the 31-year-old high school basketball coach has filed for divorce,
citing ''inappropriate marital conduct.''
Their Christmas card from a year ago shows a smiling, embracing
couple standing in front of a mural of a moonlit cruise ship.
It's another piece of the puzzle that no longer seems to fit the
image that many acquaintances saw.
They know Pamela Turner as a former high school basketball star
and a young woman admired for her polite personality and charming
But Potter sees a child abuser.
His office has charged Turner with 15 counts of sexual battery and
13 counts of statutory rape. She is accused of having sex with a
13-year-old boy who attended Centertown Elementary, where Turner
taught physical education and coached basketball.
If convicted on all counts, Turner could face more than 100 years
behind bars, although Potter said that a more likely sentence would
run from one to several years.
Messages left for Turner's lawyer were not returned immediately.
Calls to a cell phone known to be Turner's also were not returned,
but a message stated, ''Thank you so much for the support and please
keep me in your prayers.''
Many can't comprehend it
Billy Medley has served Pam Turner plenty of meals at his family's
meat-and-three restaurant in Centertown, where the woman ate regularly
with her teaching friends.
The restaurant is a few hundred yards from the gray elementary schoolhouse
where the teacher worked and where her alleged victim attended school.
The boy, who is known to many in the community, is described by
Medley as ''an awesome athlete, a real superstar.''
Medley had praise, too, for the teacher, who played on a state championship
high school basketball team in Fentress County coached by her father,
''It's a shame you can't interview her right now,'' Medley said
yesterday. ''She's an awesome woman. She's been a real role model
for the children.''
Centertown is a small community tucked into a rural corner of Warren
County, where people specialize in growing plants that are intended
to be shipped elsewhere.
''I'll tell you, Centertown is getting to be known for something
else now,'' he said.
Opinion is mixed about the serious charges facing Turner.
''I do believe it somewhat,'' said resident Howard Thomas, noting
the lengthy list of charges that Warren County authorities have
leveled at the young teacher. ''But of course, you're innocent until
Turner frequented a tanning salon adjacent to Medley's restaurant.
Medley said that the teacher was quite proper and modest when she
arrived to take her turn on the tanning bed. He said she was an
accomplished athlete herself and that the little children at the
school, where his 6-year-old daughter also attends, adored the teacher.
''They would scream, 'Mrs. Turner! Mrs. Turner!' whenever they saw
her,'' Medley said.
As school was letting out yesterday, parents lined up single file
in the pickup lane.
Warren County Director of Schools Jerry Hale said that he had had
more calls from media than from local parents about Centertown Elementary.
The school has a full-time counselor, he said, but there were no
reports of distressed children.
Outside the school yesterday afternoon, big satellite TV trucks
lumbered into position for the late-afternoon newscasts.
Parent Frank Tibbetts sat in his idling car waiting for the bell
to ring. He emphasized that no one knows for sure what happened
except for the defendant and her alleged victim. But the gossip
was thick inside the classrooms, according to what his children
''If it did happen, it's a mighty sad thing,'' he said. ''You need
to be able to trust your children's teachers.''
Female sex abusers are rare
Metro police Sgt. Mark Chesnut has spent eight years investigating
sexual child abuse.
''Less than 5% of our cases are female perpetrators,'' said Chesnut,
who very recently transferred to another division.
Chesnut said he could not recall any cases of female teachers being
accused of sexual abuse on a student in Davidson County during his
time as a sex crimes investigator.
Vanderbilt University clinical psychologist Tom Catron said that
the sexual abuse of a minor could have long-lasting effects on the
He said the depth of the devastation would depend on the trauma
associated with the abuse and on the effectiveness of the treatment.
Catron said that while in some cases adult perpetrators will claim
that their young victims were consensual partners, it is very difficult
to see a 13-year-old as being on equal emotional footing with the
older sex partner.
He said the fact that the adult charged in the Warren case was an
authority figure could hurt the child's sense of security and ''distort
their sense of what sexual intimacy is. It could really scar them
Hometown doubts charges
Turner comes from a well-known family of educators in Fentress County.
Her father is a legendary girls basketball coach at Clarkrange High
School, having won seven state championships in 29 years. Her mother
is an elementary school teacher.
Turner started at power forward on the 1995 state championship team.
Fentress County Circuit Court Clerk Frank Smith said news of her
arrest had been swirling around Jamestown and that people didn't
believe it. Smith, an avid booster of the Clarkrange basketball
team, said he had known her since she was a little girl.
Smith followed her career in college, too, and said she played one
year at Tennessee Tech before transferring to Cumberland University.
He said many people in town believed the accusations were mixed
up with a nasty divorce filed in January.
''She was a super ball player and a super person,'' Smith said.
''She's one of the warmest people and nicest people you'd ever meet.''
Former state legislator Tommy Burnett, who splits time between Nashville
and his home in Fentress County, said his daughter was friends with
Turner growing up. Burnett said she would come around his family's
''I never saw anything out of her that would give rise to my belief
she would be guilty,'' Burnett said. ''She's got a super, outgoing
The Rogers family also has a history with chicken farming —
one of Fentress County's main industries.
Attorney Skid Garrett said his son was good friends with Turner's
only brother. They played football together in high school and his
son would spend time at the Rogers home.
''It's going to be devastating to this community if Pamela is found
guilty,'' he said. ''Frankly, everybody just loves her here.''
Other recent teacher-student sex cases
January 2005: Sarah Bench-Salorio, 28, a middle school English teacher
in Orange County, Calf., was arrested on suspicion of having sex
with two former students. Another accuser came forward this month,
and she also was charged with lewd acts against him. The students
were all under 14 years of age.
November 2004: Senorita Walker, 33, a high school teacher in Chicago,
was accused of giving three teenage boys money, alcohol and marijuana
to have sex with her. Walker paid a 15-year-old student and two
friends $100 per session to have sex with her, officials said.
about Walker at Smoking Gun
Inverness - It's happened again. Another female school employee
is accused of having sex with an under-age male student. This case
is in Citrus County.
Teacher's aide Tammy Lee Huggins is charged with lewd and lascivious
battery on a child. The victim and the woman admit they had sex
several times since Christmas break.
It is the buzz at Citrus High School where 35- year-old teacher's
aid Tammy Lee Huggins and a 15-year-old student admit in court documents
they had sexual relations with each other between 15 and 20 times
Police spokesperson Gail Tierney said the victim is devastated.
A female teacher had sex with a 14-year-old female student after
"marrying" her in a pagan wedding ritual, according to
police in South Haven, Mich.
Elizabeth Miklosovic, 36, is charged with five sexual encounters
with her ex-student, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct
and second-degree sexual conduct.
If convicted of the first-degree charge, Miklosovic faces life in
More about this
June 2004: Debra Lafave, 24, a remedial reading teacher in Tampa,
Fla., was accused of having sex with a then-14-year-old student
in her home, classroom and car. The case drew national headlines
and, six months after her arrest, her name was still in the top
10 of weekly Google searches, the St. Petersburg Times reported.
Lafave's attorney is pursuing an insanity defense.
about Lafave at Smoking Gun
AND IT IS HAPPENING IN NORTH CAROLINA TOO
Affidavit alleges tryst with student
Teacher charged with sex offensesTew was released on bond.
By JERRY ALLEGOOD, Staff Writer
GREENVILLE -- A Greenville high school teacher accused of having
sex with a student called and wrote to him before meeting him in
a school parking lot one night wearing pajamas and carrying a bottle
of tequila, court documents say.
Katherine B. Tew, 30, has been charged with a sex offense and with
taking indecent liberties with a student. She was arrested Monday
and freed on $10,000 bond pending a hearing April 15 in Pitt County
Tew, an English teacher at South Central High School near Greenville,
has been on leave with pay since an investigation began Jan. 25.
Efforts to reach her failed Wednesday, and court papers did not
list her attorney.
The investigation began after a deputy who works as a school resource
officer reported that a student said he had sex with Tew, according
to an affidavit for a search warrant. Investigators on Feb. 1 searched
the home that Tew shares with her husband, an assistant football
coach, and seized a pair of pajamas with cartoons of moons and stars
on them and a handwritten letter that referred to the student.
Lt. Karen Kilpatrick, supervisor of the major crimes unit, said
in the six-page typed affidavit that the student had several letters
from Tew and others that he had written to her. The student told
investigators she referred in letters to "hooking up"
and "getting together," the affidavit said.
The boy had saved text messages from Tew on his cell phone. The
investigator said the last, dated Dec. 15, said, "Can you or
would you want to see me tomorrow night? Home alone would love to
see you. Call cell and leave a message. Y or N."
Kilpatrick said the student described cell phone calls, including
one in which he said he asked Tew, "Why would you do this to
The student told investigators that he received a note the next
day in which Tew thanked him for making her realize that she loved
her husband. Kilpatrick said the student told her Tew did not call
or send notes for several days, "and then it started again."
According to the affidavit, the teenager said Tew asked him to meet
her at a parking lot near the school's football field. According
to Kilpatrick, the teenager said he intended to tell her that he
could not continue the relationship.
Kilpatrick said the student told her that Tew, smelling of alcohol,
was wearing pajamas and clutching a bottle of tequila when she got
in his vehicle. She attempted to get him to drink some, according
to the boy's account, and he told her he did not drink.
The boy "stated that Ms. Tew kissed him and they started to
have sex in the back seat of his vehicle," the affidavit said.
As a condition of Tew's release on bond, she cannot communicate
with or threaten the prosecuting witness. She also was ordered to
stay off school property and not to be alone in the presence of
a child younger than 18.
Deborah Long, a spokeswoman for the Pitt County schools, said Tew's
status would be considered after school officials review information
from the sheriffs department.
Staff writer Jerry Allegood can be reached in Greenville at (252)
752-8411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.