Huffpost Crime

Ashley Dowden, Teacher, Suspected Of Sex With Students

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East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office

An English teacher in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been fired from her job after allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student.

Ashley Dowden, 41, has been charged with computer-aided solicitation of a juvenile, indecent behavior with juveniles, and carnal knowledge of juveniles, stemming from an alleged relationship with the student between May and June of this year.

The boy's parents contacted the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office on August 12 after allegedly discovering inappropriate text messages on his cell phone, WAFB TV reports.

According to the probable cause report, the parents cross referenced the number and discovered that it belonged to a teacher at his school.

After they questioned the teen about the messages, he admitted that he was involved in an inappropriate relationship with Dowden.

The boy is not a student at Riverdale Christian Academy, where Dowden has taught the last two years, He told deputies he had sex with her on the campus.

Deputies recovered nude photos of the suspect, as well as sexually explicit text messages before they questioned Dowden on Aug. 21.

At first, Dowden denied the allegations she had sex with a student. Deputies said that changed when they informed her of the content that had been downloaded from the teen's phone.

She allegedly admitted having sex with the victim as well as exchanging nude photos and sexually explicit messages with him, NOLA.com reports.

She was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison and released a few hours later after posting a $15,000 bond.

Five days after Dowden was charged for her alleged sexual relationship with a minor, she was accused of having a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student at Riverdale Christian Academy.

Because the student was of legal age, Dowden was charged with prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and student, a misdemeanor.

She allegedly met up with the student during lunch breaks for sex, Casey Rayborn-Hicks, a spokesperson for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, told NOLA.com.

After the charges were filed, the school fired Dowden. According to a bio on the school's website that has been removed, she has been married for 10 years.

The Rev. Preston Thompson, pastor of Redeemer Baptist Church, which is affiliated with Riverdale Christian Academy, said that when Dowden was hired, there were no red flags raised during the vetting process, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports.

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