Alexis Mercedes Boberg, a 25-year-old substitute teacher from the Baltimore area, turned herself in to authorities on Monday, June 17. According to the Baltimore Sun, Boberg has been charged with two counts of fourth-degree sex offense for having a sexual contact with a person while in a position of authority in addition to consuming alcohol on public property.
A student at North County High School reported Boberg on June 4 for engaging in sexual activities with him and providing him with alcohol.
Boberg was fired from the school shortly after the allegations surfaced.
The fourth-degree sex offense is a misdemeanor which careers a punishment of up to a year in jail. Boberg would also be required to register as a sex offender.
The student’s mother filed for a temporary peace order the day after her son reported the allegations.
“During the last 20 days, my son has been manipulated into a sexual relationship (with) his substitute teacher at school,” the teen’s mother wrote.
The temporary peace order prohibits Boberg from having any contact with the teen and it also says she must stay away from the teen’s mother’s place of employment.
Since the beginning of 2019 alone, a handful of teachers have been arrested on similar charges, including Beulah High School teacher Kelsie Schmidt in North Dakota, Rancocas Valley Regional High School teacher Alexandra Reiner in New Jersey, and 50-year-old Florida substitute teacher Angela Jean Stanton in Florida. Additionally, Texas teachers Meredith Null and Edna Longoria were arrested on similar charges.
As for why the number of these incidents has seemingly increased, studies suggest that smartphones are the primary reason for the spike in illicit relationships, as it allows teachers to communicate with the minors without supervision.
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.