JONESBORO -- A former Marked Tree teacher was charged Wednesday with first-degree sexual assault in Craighead County District Court after police accused her of having sex with at least four of her students.
Jessie Lorene Goline, 25, is being held at the Craighead County jail in Jonesboro in lieu of a $5,000 bond, said 2nd Judicial Circuit Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington.
According to an arrest affidavit filed in Craighead County Circuit Court by Arkansas State Police investigator Mike Grimes, Goline, a former art teacher at Marked Tree High School, admitted to her principal that she'd had sex "with multiple students" after a parent of one of the students threatened to go to the school to "do bodily harm" to Goline.
Grimes interviewed four students who all claimed Goline began texting them earlier in the year. The texts became more sexual in nature, Grimes said.
According to the affidavit, Goline picked up the students in Marked Tree between January and April 2016 and took them to her apartment in Jonesboro. Grimes said two of the students were once at Goline's apartment on the same night.
One student told police Goline texted a picture of herself wearing a thong and said she would like to have sex with him but acknowledged he was too young.
Ellington said once he learned of the allegations, he asked the state police to investigate.
He said he filed the charge in Craighead County since the offenses occurred in Jonesboro.
Ellington also filed only one charge of first-degree sexual assault because only one of the four students was younger than 18 years old. Ellington cited the Arkansas Supreme Court case Paschal v. State 2012 Ark. 127 that struck down a statute criminalizing sexual relationships between teachers and students who were younger than 21.
In that case, Elkins teacher David Paschal was convicted of four counts of sexual assault. The state Supreme Court overturned those convictions after learning the students were 18 or older.
State Desk on 09/21/2017
Print Headline: Ex-teacher faces sex-assault count