September 24, 2008
Jackson, Mississippi (The Weekly Vice) -- Sheral Lee Smith, a 37-year-old former teacher at New Summit School in Jackson, Mississippi has been arrested and charged with statutory rape and drug charges involving a 14 year old student.
Smith was arrested last Wednesday on allegations that she had sexual contact with a 14-year-old student who attended the school where she taught. Police say however that Smith was not the student's teacher.
Investigators believe the alleged sexual abuse occurred a few weeks ago at Smith's Rankin County Home and continued over the course of a couple of months. Authorities also believe Smith gave the boy a pill, according to Ronnie Pennington of the Rankin County Sheriff's department.
"Their relationship began before she started teaching," said Pennington.
Smith has disputed the allegations, telling a local newspaper:
"My husband coached [the student] in soccer. He has been in our home many times," said Smith, adding that the allegations began as a rumor started by a 16-year-old student from the same school.
New Summit School officials said that Smith was suspended after her arrest and has since been dismissed from her employment with the school. She had worked at the school for just three weeks.
Smith was booked into jail on charges of statutory rape and transfer of a controlled substance. She was released after posting a $50,000 bond.
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Posted by Danny Vice at 8:18:00 PM