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Tacoma middle school teacher charged with having sex with student

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on July 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm with 17 Comments »
July 2, 2012 6:58 pm

Pierce County prosecutors have charged a Tacoma middle school teacher with having sex with a student in her classroom and the boy’s bedroom five years ago.

Keshia T. Shaw, who taught science and math at Gray Middle School, faces five counts of second-degree child rape. The 32-year-old woman was charged June 26 and has yet to enter a plea. She is scheduled to appear in court July 10.

The allegations surfaced in May after the boy, now 17, listened to a church sermon about molestation and then told his mother he had been abused.

Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist said the victim felt compelled to tell somebody after the pastor urged victims of sexual abuse to disclose it because “The truth will set you free.”

The abuse is alleged to have happened three or four times between April 2007 and December 2008.

Tacoma Public Schools spokesman Dan Voelpel said Monday the district learned of the accusations May 7 and immediately placed Shaw on paid leave. After Shaw was charged, the school district placed her on unpaid leave.

Police said it’s too early to know whether there were other victims.

“Right now, we have just the one victim,” spokesman Mark Fulghum said. “We don’t know about other students. “Who knows, this may bring other victims forward.”

According to charging documents:

Shaw was the boy’s sixth-grade teacher, and he stayed after class one day at the end of the year to retake a test. Shaw, who was not wearing underwear, sat in front of the boy as he worked on the exam and, after catching him looking, asked whether he was turned on.

She then took the boy into a room next to her classroom, where they had sex.

“After they finished, the defendant told (the victim) not to tell,” documents state.

A week later, the boy stayed after school and they had intercourse.

The next encounter came in July, when Shaw gave the boy a ride home from summer school. They had sex in his bedroom while his mother was at work.

After completing sixth grade, the boy went to another school. He did not see Shaw again until eighth grade, when he ran away from home and went to visit friends at Gray.

He had sex with Shaw in her classroom that day. They then went to a bank parking lot, where Shaw gave the boy $80 before performing oral sex on him.

That was the last time the victim saw Shaw.

She began working as a substitute teacher in Tacoma in 2002 and was hired full-time at Gray in 2005, Voelpel said.

According to court records, Shaw and her husband separated in July 2010 and she filed for divorce in February. They have two children, ages 6 and 8.

Leave a comment Comments → 17
  1. ginahopk says:

    What in the Hell is wrong with these people? It just makes me sick

  2. alindasue says:

    I think we have to remember that this woman has been charged only. A charge is not a conviction – that comes after a trial.

    The big problem – and the reason I bring this up – is that nothing can ruin a career of a teacher (or almost anyone for that matter) faster than accusations of sexual assault. Even if she goes through a trial and is found innocent of the accusations, her name, picture, and life story will be connected to those allegations by articles like this.

    It makes for a nice salacious article, but is this really responsible journalism?

  3. BigSwingingRichard says:


    You make some interesting points, however, keep in mind prosecutors make charging decisions only when they believe a crime has occurred and they believe they can prove it in court.

    Teachers having sex with students is not unheard of in the Tacoma School District, if fact, it is becoming a recurring event.

  4. cclngthr says:

    Having been involved with this issue (teachers and student sexual conduct) and covering for teachers who are accused of it, I think teachers MUST be extremely careful around students and children.

    From KIRO and this article, here are some red flags I see.

    1. Teacher and one student is alone in the room.
    2. Teacher is giving rides to student.
    3. Teacher discusses sexual issues with student.
    4. Teacher gives money to student.

  5. cclngthr says:


    If the prosecutor has enough evidence to formally charge the teacher of sexual abuse of a student, and this evidence is sufficient to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt according to the prosecutor, I suspect that there is enough to accuse the teacher of this crime.

  6. hultmale says:

    I think the point is that the following could be true:

    1. Teacher is falsely accused of being alone in a room with a student.
    2. Teacher is falsely accused of giving rides to student.
    3. Teacher is falsely accused of discussing sexual issues with student.
    4. Teacher is falsely accused of giving money to student.

    It’s probably not, but it could be.

  7. cclngthr says:

    The prosecutor has enough evidence to charge the teacher of sexual abuse. The 4 things I listed are red flags that easily lead to sexual misconduct, and is part of the boundary invasion policy the state has.

    The boundary invasion policy prohibits these 4 things and is grounds to automatically send complaints to OSPI for their review, and permanent revocation of the teachers certificate, particularly if the teacher is charged with the crime.

  8. Due to the current PC environment in the media, don’t expect anywhere near the same level of press coverage as occured in the Mary Kay Letourneau case.

  9. tree_guy says:

    Does her 5 year old look like her husband or look like her student?

  10. kdouglas says:

    What the hell is wrong with these people? GEESH It is starting to seem like schools are a breeding ground for this. I con not believe that a teacher could do this to a child, any child at that! Schools are supposed to be a safe place for children! I work for the Tacoma School District and am disgusted by this! What a shame!:(

  11. kdouglas says:


  12. colsprague says:

    The difference between this and Mary Kay Latourno is big. Mary Kay was preggo. By a student. Then she sneaked off with him when she was on parole and got pregnant AGAIN.

  13. alindasue says:

    cclngthr said, “If the prosecutor has enough evidence to formally charge the teacher of sexual abuse of a student, and this evidence is sufficient to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt according to the prosecutor…”

    What you and BigSwingingRichard appear to be saying is that because the prosecutor filed charges, the person must be guilty. Our history is full of cases where prosecutors are sure they have enough evidence, but when the evidence is fully examined in the court of law, the accused is found to be not guilty. Until (and if) it has been “proved beyond a reasonable doubt”, the public flogging of the accused should wait – especially in sexual assault cases where the mere accusation (baseless or not) is enough to ruin lives.

  14. cclngthr says:

    What you ignore, particularly in more recent times, is there are 2 main issues that involve civil law and teacher code of conduct. This code of conduct requires mandatory state intervention and suspension/revocation of the teachers certificate when criminal charges are filed

    1. Boundary Invasion
    This policy, which is now part of the code of conduct regarding teacher professional conduct, both at work and at home is now requiring teachers not to do certain things with ANY child, particularly those children that are not the teachers own children.

    Shaw (whom I happen to know) did 4 things that placed her under more scrutiny, and violated the boundary invasion policy. At no time should a teacher be alone with a student; particularly in a room without other people in it. She was alone with one student. Secondly, she drove the student in her personal car. In the policy, it prohibits any rides by teachers with students in personal cars. This does several things. One, there is a liability issue withthe teachers insurance company, and the district is legally liable because the teacher is acting as an agent for the district. The policy also prohibits any discussion of a sexual matter that is not preauthorized through state/district approved curriculum. Teachers are also prohibited by the policy to give the student money for ANY reason.

    These 4 things she did require the superintendent to write a complaint letter to OSPI; who then will determine if the certificate should be suspended or revoked. IF there are criminal charges filed, the state will then move to suspend the certificate until the criminal case is finalized. This is mandatory. If the teacher is guilty of such charges, the state will permanently revoke the certificate and place the teachers name and information in a nationwide database which all states use to monitor teacher certificates.

  15. cclngthr says:

    I know of 6 TSD teachers I have covered for (after they were charged) in recent years who have been charged with the crime. This is the 3rd one that I know of involving a Tacoma School District staff member. 2 of them were at Stadium HS.

  16. whatthehell says:

    shes got a prettyt mounth

  17. alindasue says:

    cclngthr said, “This code of conduct requires mandatory state intervention and suspension/revocation of the teachers certificate when criminal charges are filed”

    I have no problem with the suspending a teacher’s certificate when criminal charges are filed and revoking such certification if the teacher is found guilty of the criminal charges.

    What I object to is articles such as this one that go into detail about the accused teacher’s biography and relating the accusations in a manner as if they were established facts. Should the accused teacher be found not guilty, these “facts” will still damage the accused person’s reputation. That’s the insidious part of sexual assault accusations.

    Take, for example, the singer Michael Jackson. He was found not guilty of the molestation charges brought against him, yet even now years later people make references to him being a child molester – based only on the very public accusation details spread across the tabloids, just as this newspaper has done in this case with the teacher.

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