She was supposed to be a good influence and keep him out of harm's way, but now a former regional Teacher of the Year is accused of raping her 14-year-old student.
Darcy Smith, 41, is accused of habitually sexually abusing the boy over a period of four years. The Washington state teacher was charged Thursday with three counts of third-degree child rape. The alleged victim, now 19, reported the abuse to the King County Sheriff's Office in May 2014.
It all started in September 2008. The student, then 12, broke his collar bone, and lived far away from the hospital where he received treatments. Smith, the boy's sixth grade teacher at McMicken Heights Elementary School, lived closer and offered to have him move in with her family.
At the time, the boy's older brother was involved in gangs, and his mother was concerned that her younger son would follow the same dangerous path. She saw Smith as a positive influence, and accepted the teacher's invitation, according to KING.
But things soon changed. At first the boy merely confided in Smith, telling her his personal problems, detectives said in court documents. Later, Smith began buying him clothes, and she became progressively more affectionate with him.
"Smith would put her hand on his shoulder or massage his back," detectives wrote. "[The] lines started to get blurred."
The boy told police he began having sex with Smith about a year after he moved in. Encounters typically took place after Smith's husband and children went to bed, or on her days off from teaching elementary school, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Smith often drank before their encounters, which occurred two or three times a week, the boy told police.
"Smith told him not to say anything and made him promise not to tell," detectives wrote in charging documents filed Thursday. "Smith said she would go to jail and be in big trouble if he told."
The pattern of alleged abuse continued until the boy turned 18 and moved out. Court documents suggest that Smith and the boy were still sexually active when she won Teacher of the Year for King and Pierce Counties in 2012, the Post-Intelligencer reported.
School officials say they notified the parents of the investigation last week.
Smith is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 12.