SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — A Redlands teacher accused of having sexual relations with multiple students and having a baby with one of them pleaded guilty Wednesday to six felony counts.
Laura Whitehurst, 28, who had been charged with 41 felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and oral copulation, took a plea bargain pleading guilty to six counts of unlawful sex with three minors.
Four of the counts are for unlawful sex with victim number one, who fathered Whitehurst’s child.
The two other counts are for the other victims, now both adults.
The other 35 counts were dismissed.
“She made big mistakes. There are serious consequences and she is going to pay them,” Defense attorney James Gass said Wednesday.
Prosecutor Melissa Rodriguez said the victims are looking forward to moving on.
“We talked to the victims in the case to find out what they would like to see happen in the case and the victims in this case want to move forward with their lives, and this is a way for them to do that,” Rodriguez said.
The former Citrus Valley High School teacher faces one year behind bars and five years probation. She has had her teaching credentials revoked and will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life. She was also ordered to stay away from the father of her child, KNX1070’s Mike Landa reports.
If she had been convicted on all 41 counts, she faced up to 29 years in prison.
Whitehurst, who gave birth to a baby girl June 18, was arrested July 1 after the mother of the teenage boy who allegedly fathered Whitehurst’s child reported the relationship. She was released after posting bail.
One of the adult victims, Michael Cooper, told CBS2/KCAL9’s Adrianna Weingold he had a relationship with Whitehurst while he was a student in her English class.
His step-father, Andy Woolsey, spoke about the case on camera.
“She is going to have to deal with the fact she ruined her life. I feel bad for her and for her family. She needs to get some help,” Woolsey said.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 28.