BEREA, Ky. (WKYT) - A biology teacher at Madison Southern High School is charged with having sexual contact with a 16-year-old student.
Brandi Lynn Whitaker, 24, of Richmond is charged with first-degree sexual abuse, third-degree rape and third-degree sodomy. Berea police arrested Whitaker Tuesday after officers, accompanied by social services, went to the school to investigate allegations of "sexual contact between a teacher and student," according to a release.
Investigators say Whitaker admitted to having sexual contact with a student on two different occasions off school property.
Sgt. Jake Reed of Berea Police told WKYT's Garrett Wymer that the two alleged incidents happened when school was out - in June and July - once at Whitaker's home, and another time at a park.
"You're talking about an adult and a child, and she has a position of authority over this child. She's his teacher. So obviously anything like this we take very seriously," Sgt. Reed said. "It's a sad situation for everybody involved. It's unfortunate but these things do happen sometimes."
Madison County Schools issued a statement Tuesday, saying the district is cooperating with the police investigation and the district is conducting an internal investigation.
The district said Whitaker has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of these investigations.
Whitaker was being held in the Madison County Detention Center. She declined WKYT's request for an interview.
Whitaker, a graduate from Berea College, started teaching during the 2014-15 school year, according to her web page. She is among seven science teachers listed on Madison Southern's website. She teaches Biology and Anatomy/Physiology, according to the website.