LAURENS, S.C. – A former middle school teacher accused of having sex with five boys was indicted Friday by a grand jury, the Laurens County prosecutor said.
Allenna Ward, 24, is due in court Monday on five counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and six counts of lewd acts on a minor, prosecutor Jerry Peace said.
The married teacher is accused of having sexual encounters with the 14- and 15-year-old boys at the school, a motel, a park and behind a restaurant, according to arrest warrants. She is one of two Laurens County teachers facing sex charges; an elementary school teacher is charged with having sex with an 11-year old boy.
Ward's attorney had no immediate comment Friday.
Police began investigating after school officials found a note believed to have been written by Ward to one of the boys. Some of the victims were students at Bell Street Middle School in Clinton, where Ward taught, authorities said. The teacher was fired Feb. 28.
Some blacks residents in the conservative county have said the charges against the two women, who are white, were treated less seriously than other offenses because the students are black.
Peace denied that race played any role in their bail. He said that the teachers are wearing electronic tracking devices and that their bail — $125,000 for one, $110,000 for the other — was based on danger to the community and the likelihood that the defendants might flee.