Rikki Lyn Laughlin faces multiple sex crimes charges, including attempted statutory rape
A Missouri teacher was arrested on allegations of sending illicit videos and photos to an underage student.
Rikki Lyn Laughlin, 24, allegedly sent a 16-year-old boy pornographic photos and videos of herself, solicited naked photos from the teen in return, and even invited him to her home to have sex, according to a probable cause statement by the Maries County Sheriff's Office obtained by the Riverfront Times and local news station KMOV4.
The Maries County Sheriff's Office received a tip from a Phelps County detective last week about an alleged inappropriate relationship involving Laughlin at St. James High School, authorities said, according to KDSK-TV.
According to the probable cause statement, a detective interviewed the teenage boy, who alleged that Laughlin had reached out to him on Snapchat and sent him nude photos and videos of herself, per the outlet. He also told the detective that she asked him to also send nude photos of himself, which he also did, according to the probable cause statement.
The teen also told the detective that Laughlin had asked him to delete the photos and videos because other people at school were talking about them and she could go to jail for it, according to authorities.
The detective then interviewed Laughlin, who allegedly admitted that she had been talking with the student over Snapchat, but claimed that he had initiated the conversation and that she had not been “aware” that he was a minor until the day before, according to authorities.
She also gave consent to hand over her cell phone to be searched, and the detective found an illicit video on her phone similar to what the student described, according to authorities.
She was also accused in the probable cause statement, per the Riverfront Times, of inviting the teenager to her home to have sex while her husband was out of town, which the student allegedly turned down “because he did not feel comfortable," according to the statement.
Laughlin was arrested and charged with six felony sex crimes, which included promoting obscenity in the first degree, furnishing pornographic material to a minor, attempted statutory rape in the second degree, tampering with a witness, possession of child pornography, and tampering with physical evidence, according to KMOV4.
The Maries County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Files from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website obtained by KMOV4 showed that Laughlin had completed three temporary authorization certificates for teaching and a substitute certification with the school district and had been authorized to teach classes to juniors at St. James High School.
The school’s district Superintendent Tim Webster did not name Laughlin, but confirmed to the outlet that one of their teachers was “immediately escorted from school property and placed on leave pending investigation.”
"The District takes these matters seriously and reported allegations to appropriate outside agencies, including law enforcement," Webster said in a statement to KDSK-TV. "Our top priority remains the safety and well-being of our students, and we do not tolerate any policy or law violations within our educational community.”
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
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