Three male students have been identified as sexual abuse victims of a former Osceola High School teacher, according to an investigative report released by the Osceola Police Department on Friday.
The report states that investigators had interviewed three male Osceola High School students — two of whom are 17 years old and one of whom is 18 years old — who all said that they had sexual contact with Nichole Winberry, 28, of Paragould.
The teens were interviewed by investigators after the state child abuse hot line received a tip last Friday that an Osceola High School staff member had performed oral sex on a 17-year-old male student, according to the report.
"One of the students described two separate acts of sexual abuse," the report states.
In a phone call with Arkansas Online, 2nd Judicial Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said that the purported sexual conduct occurred "sometime from the last week of November to the first three weeks of December."
Ellington said the three male teens were students in Winberry's math class, and added that a school staff member had sent a tip to the hot line.
"It's my understanding that she was a new hire August 13th [and that] she taught at Paragould before she came to Osceola," he said.
Ellington also said that she resigned Jan. 10th, which is the day that the tip came through the hot line.
Winberry has been charged in four counts of first-degree sexual assault, a class A felony that is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and carries a $15,000 fine, Ellington said.
She surrendered to state police Thursday in Paragould after warrants were issued for her arrest, he said.
Winberry made her first appearance in court Friday morning in front of Circuit Judge Ralph Wilson Jr., who ordered that Winberry have no contact with the victims.
Her bond was set at $15,000, and she is scheduled to appear in circuit court for her arraignment on Jan. 31 in Osceola. Jonesboro attorney Bill Bristow is representing Winberry in court.