W. Va. Teacher Charged With Having Sex With Four Students

A Braxton County Middle School teacher, charged with having sex with four children under the age of 16, has resigned and permanently surrendered her state-issued teaching certificate.

State Police on Wednesday night filed eight charges of third-degree sexual assault against Toni Lynn Woods (search), 37, of Strange Creek.

Woods confessed to having sexual intercourse with three juveniles a total of four times where the alleged incidents occurred.

Braxton County Prosecutor William C. Martin said he could discuss only what was in the complaint.

State Police in Braxton County (search) refused to discuss the case, referring questions to Martin. State Police spokesman Sgt. Jay Powers said he could say only that the investigation is still open.

"There could be a possibility there are more victims out there," Powers said.

Martin said the State Police investigation began when a family member of one of the children complained. Troopers talked to several juveniles, then called Woods to come into their office to talk. After their discussion, which was taped, she was arrested.

"The confession was further corroborated by the victims' statements and to physical evidence found at a scene where a portion of the crimes were committed," the criminal complaint said.

Woods was arraigned Thursday morning and was being held in the Central Regional Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Martin said Woods resigned her job as a sixth grade teacher.

Although Martin said the alleged sexual encounters were consensual, it is a crime in West Virginia for an adult to have sex with someone who is under 16 if the adult is at least four years older than the juvenile and is not married to the juvenile.

Braxton County Middle School Principal Denver Drake said he had been told not to comment on the case and referred calls to Superintendent Carolyn Long.

Long said Friday she could say little about the case because it is a personnel matter. The Braxton County Board of Education (search) will address the issue at a special meeting on Monday evening, Long said.

Martin said a preliminary hearing date has not been set.