A sixth-grade teacher in Arkansas faces rape charges after she allegedly had sex and exchanged explicit photographs with a 13-year-old former student.
Police began investigating Mary Faith McCormick, 32, after a 12-year-old girl who borrowed a friend's phone found semi-nude photos of the suspect in a towel and other states of undress accompanied with risque messages. Police say that the phone belonged to the victim.
A probable cause affidavit obtained by KFSM states that McCormick had sex with the boy at least twice and engaged in other inappropriate activities, beginning shortly after school ended in June and continuing into August.
The encounters began after a friend dared the 13-year-old to contact McCormick, the affidavit states. In one instance, the boy and a friend went over to the teacher’s apartment to watch a movie. The friend left, but the 13-year-old stayed and later had sex with the teacher in her bedroom, the affidavit states.
Neighbors told the station they had seen McCormick in the company of young children before, which had raised suspicions. One man said that the allegations were "not shocking," since the teacher had kids visit her house often.
Police said the suspect and victim exchanged electronic images of each other's genitals via the Snap Chat application (Snap Chat enables smart phone users to send "disappearing" images, but those images can be screen-captured and stored).
The teen told police that the alleged encounters were consensual, but under Arkansas law they qualify as rape because the minor cannot legally consent.
McCormick was arrested on rape charges Aug. 13 and bonded out of jail. She is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 22.
The suspect is a teacher at Siloam Springs Intermediate School, and has been put on leave with pay pending the result of the ongoing police investigation.
Several outlets report that McCormick is married and has a young daughter. Her social media accounts appeared to be disabled, but a gallery of photos featuring the teacher was posted to Imgur.