ST. JOSEPH, Missouri- The St. Joseph News Press is reporting an elementary school teacher has been arrested in connection with alleged criminal sexual conduct with a child.
St. Joseph School District officials were notified late Friday that an employee of the district, Cole Charboneau, was charged with having sexual contact with a minor, the report said.
School District officials issued a statement saying Charboneau, a teacher last year at Eugene Field Elementary, was accused of “having an inappropriate relationship with a student.”
Court records show he was charged Friday with one count of first-degree statutory sodomy, a felony. Booking records listed the victim’s age as under 14.
Charboneau, 27, taught fourth grade last school year at Eugene Field. A parent confirmed Charboneau was a teacher this academic year.
According to a statement released Saturday morning, the district learned of the accusation against Charboneau in mid-November and followed protocol and immediately notified Missouri’s Family Support Division. The district also placed Charboneau on paid administrative leave at that time pending further investigation. He has remained on leave.
The statement said district employees are expected to maintain courteous and professional relationships with students.
“All staff members have a responsibility to provide an atmosphere conducive to learning through consistently and fairly applied discipline and the maintenance of physical and emotional boundaries with students.”
“Student safety is a primary concern for the district and we are fully cooperating with the St. Joseph Police Department during this investigation,” Dr. Newhart wrote in the news release.
According to court records, the incident occurred on Aug. 1, 2015, which is outside of the school district’s academic calendar. Bond was set at $50,000.
Charboneau graduated from Missouri Western State University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education.