Kimberly Wellman-Rich, 34, and Jeffery Rich, 36 have both been charged by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office (Picture: Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office)
A school teacher raped a 15 year-old boy on a foreign exchange trip to her school while her husband watched, it is alleged.
Kimberly Wellman-Rich, 34, from Lafayette, Louisiana, allegedly had illegal sexual relations with the child while hosting him during his exchange placement. The legal age of consent in Louisiana is 17.
She has been charged with felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, indecent behavior with a juvenile, encouraging or contributing to child delinquency and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
Her husband, Jeffery Rich, 36, has also been arrested and faces charges of accessory after the fact to felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. The pair are also alleged to have supplied the teen with marijuana and alcohol.
Wellman-Rich is a teacher with the Lafayette Parish School System, a company in charge of placing foreign exchange students with host families in the United States. It is unclear what country the alleged victim came from.
The arrests come after, on January 22, a tipster told police that Wellman-Rich was hosting a juvenile foreign exchange student in her home and was having sexual relations with him.
Detectives at Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office said they interviewed witnesses and gathered evidence which led them to believe that Wellman-Rich’s husband ‘had first-hand knowledge’ of the alleged abuse.
Kimberly Wellman-Rich, 34, from Lafayette, Louisiana, has been charged by police (Picture: Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office)
Jeffery Rich, 36, faces charged of being an accessory to the crimes (Picture: Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office)
Investigators also said they had reason to believe the couple allowed the teen to smoke marijuana and drink alcoholic beverages in their home.
The student was removed from the Rich home following the investigation, according to police.
The school system released a statement to KATC-TV, saying: ‘The Lafayette Parish School System is aware of the allegations of inappropriate conduct by one of our employees.
‘Allegations of this nature will continue to be taken very seriously and will be thoroughly investigated.
‘Never will alleged inappropriate conduct of an employee be taken lightly.
‘LPSS is fully cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation. Because this is a personnel matter, no further information will be provided.’
Wellman-Rich’s bond was set at $72,500 and her husband Rich’s bond was set at $10,000. Both have been freed on bond.
The teenager was removed the home once the investigation began last month, police told KFLY-TV.
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