Prosecutors on Tuesday charged a former elementary school teacher in Pottawatomie County with first-degree rape.
Sarah Sellers is accused of having a sexual relationship with a high school student.
A Pottawatomie County District Court judge issued an arrest warrant for Sellers, who has not yet been taken into custody as of Wednesday afternoon.
Sellers was a pre-kindergarten and first grade teacher at Dale Public Schools from 2014 until she resigned on July 19, 2021. Her resignation letter followed conversations with law enforcement about the alleged relationship, although she did not list a reason for her departure.
According to reports by the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, Sellers denied the alleged relationship when interviewed by a school resource officer prior to her resignation.
Amber Soule, an investigator with the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, said the relationship was consensual.
“Regardless of it being a consensual relationship, he was still a student at the time, making it illegal,” Soule said. "Even though he was 18, he legally was still a student at the time. He had not graduated. Therefore, it falls under first-degree rape."
The alleged victim was between the ages of 18 and 20 and told investigators the relationship started in 2020 while he was a high school senior serving as an aide to Sellers, who taught first grade. He told investigators he and Sellers had sex in her classroom during the alleged relationship.
“She made the first move. She's the one that asked him to kiss her. He did. It led into other things,” Soule said.
Ky Wilkins, Superintendent of Dale Public Schools, said in a statement to News 9 that the district notified the school resource officer when it learned of the allegations.
“Dale Public Schools fully supports the legal process afforded by anyone accused of inappropriate behavior with students and the punishment enforced through the courts.
“We do not tolerate the behavior that is alleged and is why the administration encouraged the parents to notify police. The administration immediately reported the information to the school resource officer, who immediately reported the information to the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office. Dale Schools will always act swiftly and in full cooperation with law enforcement."