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Teacher terminated after sex allegations

May 26, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Berkeley County Board of Education terminated the job of a female Musselman Middle School teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old male student, the school district's communications director confirmed on Tuesday.

The board's decision on May 18 came less than a week after Stephanie Jo Walters, 27, of 40 Grindstone Drive in Hedgesville, W.Va., waived her right to a preliminary hearing in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Walters is charged with one felony count of sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust to a child.

She was on administrative leave without pay before the board's decision during a personnel hearing on May 18, Jaimee Borger, Berkeley County Schools' director of communications, said Tuesday.

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A preliminary hearing waiver was signed by Walters and filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court on May 12 by her attorney, two days before a scheduled preliminary hearing.

The student allegedly involved with Walters told a Berkeley County Sheriff's Department investigator that he obtained the teacher's cell phone number at a basketball game in December 2008, and began receiving text messages of a sexual nature from Walters in February, according to a complaint filed in magistrate court.

Last month, Walters allegedly approached the student during lunch and they went to a janitor's closet in the school, where they kissed and she allowed him to touch her breasts, but not beneath her shirt, police have said.

Matthew Umstead

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