Loretta Nelsen, a 40-year-old teacher and assistant soccer coach at a Christian school in North Carolina, has been arrested and charged after she allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with an underage student.
According to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Nelsen — who teaches at Liberty Christian Academy in Richlands, North Carolina — allegedly exchanged inappropriate messages and explicit photos and engaged in sexual conversations with an underage teenager in November 2018.
Authorities say that the investigation into Nelsen was launched on December 1 after they received a tip about the alleged relationship.
Nelsen, who is a resident of Hope Mills, North Carolina, was taken to the Cumberland County Detention Center and had her bond set at $17,000. She was scheduled to make her first appearance in court on Monday, January 7.
As a result of her alleged crimes, Nelsen has been charged with solicitation of child by computer or certain other electronic devices to commit an unlawful sex act, two counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, and three counts of indecent liberties with a student.
As for why there has been such a significant increase in instances of teachers having inappropriate relationships with students, researchers believe that technology is to blame.
According to a report from the Texas Education Association, smartphones make easy for teachers to privately text and talk with students and also make it possible for teachers and students to share explicit images.
SESAME (Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation) President Terri Miller echoed that sentiment, stating “before cell phones, we knew who our kids were talking to” but today, “kids have their own phones, they’re taking them to bed, and parents need to watch more.”
Hoffman has been one of many teachers to be charged for inappropriate conduct. Over the course of just a few months, teachers across the United States have been charged, tried, and convicted of various abuse and sex crimes.
The list goes on to include 22-year-old Oklahoma science teacher Hunter Day, 28-year-old teacher Megan Kotarski, 23-year-old history teacher Michelle Schiffer, 29-year-old Alyssia Marie Reddy, special education teacher Jordan Ondish and 28-year-old Samantha Fitzpatrick have all been allegedly carrying on inappropriate relationships with their students.