Tali Jo Warner, a 23-year-old health teacher from Wisconsin, was arrested for allegedly raping a 15-year-old student. Warner and the student had multiple sexual accounters, according to the report, and RiverTowns.net reports the teacher faces up to 40 years behind bars.
Warner was officially charged with second-degree sexual assault of a child, use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, child enticement, causing a child older than 13 to view sexual activity, two counts of exposing genitals, pubic area or intimate parts to a child and exposing a child to harmful material.
The sophomore student at Somerset High School reportedly received about 10 photos and videos from Warner and also had two sexual encounters over the course of a few months. The sexual encounters took place at Warner’s home and in a car across the street from his house.
“When the District first learned of the potential allegations, Ms. Warner was removed from the classroom and the District undertook a full investigation and has cooperated with law enforcement through this process,” the district said in a statement. “District staff appreciate the support of the community during this difficult time, and also want to thank the community for respecting the privacy of the alleged victim.”
Along with the serious jail time, Warner is also facing a $100,000 fine.
Since the beginning of 2019 alone, a handful of teachers have been arrested on similar charges, including 25-year-old substitute teacher Alexis Mercedes Boberg in Baltimore, 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.