Cramerton, NC – A high school assistant principal is being held on a $1 million bond after gossip about her affair with a 17-year-old student made its way back to the school administration.
“There was some chatter among students that was passed back and forth, which made its way to school administration, which then got reported to us,” Gaston County Police Captain Billy Downey told the Gaston Gazette.
The sexual abuse of the Stuart W. Cramer High School student began after Assistant Principal Lisa Rothwell began tutoring him, according to WSOC.
“The assistant principal in this case was helping the young man with some issues related to school,” Capt. Downey said.
Police said the sexual encounters allegedly occurred between the beginning of April and the end of July, the Gaston Gazette reported.
Rothwell and the student performed sex acts together three times in April and three times in July, WSOC reported.
There were two sex acts involved on each occasion
Police said the victim was still a student at the high school when the he was sexually assaulted by the school administrator, but said that all of the sexual encounters took place off school property, according to WSOC.
Capt. Downey would not say whether the victim was still a student at the school.
He said that both Rothwell and her victim were cooperating with investigators, the Gaston Gazette reported.
“We don’t make charges unless we know we have evidence that we can proceed to court with,” Capt. Downey said. “We’re very certain of the evidence we have.”
Rothwell was charged with six felony counts of sexual activity by a student and a school employee, and booked into the Gaston County Jail, the Gaston Gazette reported.
She remained in custody in lieu of a $1 million bond that the judge promised to reconsider after she had an opportunity to talk to the victim.
There is another hearing scheduled for Friday to consider reducing Rothwell’s bond, the Gaston Gazette reported.
The school district suspended Rothwell with pay, WSOC reported.
She earns an annual salary of $66,000 a year and is married to another teacher who works in the same school district, the Gaston Gazette reported.
Rothwell was in tears during her first court appearance, with her husband and parents present and watching.
Trippe McKeny, the assistant principal’s attorney, told the judge that his client suffered from depression and has been on medication to treat it for 15 years, according to the Gaston Gazette.