A former math and special education teacher at an Oregon high school has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 16-year-old student.
Denise Keesee, 39, faced six counts of second-degree sexual abuse involving two former students. On Monday she pleaded guilty to two counts involving one student. She is scheduled to be sentenced on April 21, according to Oregon Live.
Prosecutors alleged that the woman abused victims at her home, at the boys' homes, and at Sherwood High School, where she taught in a program for at-risk youth.
A lawsuit filed by one boy's family claimed that Keesee groomed her victim while she was his instructor at a program for troubled teens at the school in 2006.
According to the station:
The suit also alleged that Keesee’s husband, then the school’s police liaison officer, threatened the boy with a gun after learning about the sexual relationship.
The husband, who was not charged, has since been reassigned within the Sherwood Police Department, KPTV reported. The Washington County Sheriff's Office handled the investigation of Keesee to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
Police first investigated Keesee in 2008, when the mother of one alleged victim reported finding inappropriate text messages between Keesee and the boy, according to Oregon Live. That investigation was dropped until Keesee was accused of molesting another boy in 2012.
Washington County sheriff's detective Robert Rookhuyzen said that the victims did not come forward willingly.
“Some of the students she worked with were in a program for at-risk youth," Rookhuyzen told KGW last year. "These were young people who had come from broken homes, not doing well in school. And she was able to become buddies with them."
Keesee was placed on administrative leave once the school district learned of the investigation, and ultimately resigned.