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Nicole R. Letcher

Nicole R. Letcher, 26, is in the Whiteside County Jail this afternoon on six charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor.

A Fulton (Ill.) High School teacher has been arrested on charges she had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.

Nicole R. Letcher, 26, an English teacher, was suspended until further notice, River Bend School District Superintendent Jane M. Bauer said Thursday in a statement.

Letcher was being held Thursday at the Whiteside County Jail on a $50,000 bond, a jail official said. 

She is charged with six counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor, a Class 2 felony. Each count is punishable in Illinois by three to seven years in prison.

The Fulton Police Department received a report Wednesday from the school district that allegations had been made of an improper 

relationship between a student and a teacher, according to a news release from Lt. Donnie Pridemore.

The department opened an investigation and arrested Letcher.

She is accused of criminal sexual activity beginning in December, court records show. Each felony count is connected to a different month lasting through May. 

The victim is identified in court records only by initials. The victim’s gender was not made available.

School administrators “take the allegations seriously and are deeply saddened by any such allegations involving a teacher and a student,” Bauer said. “The safety and well-being of students is the top priority for both the Administration and the Board of Education.” 

Bauer added the board of education “will not hesitate to dismiss the teacher and take other action to report the teacher to the state of Illinois Teacher Certification Board.”

Letcher graduated from Fulton High School in 2003. 

(Steven Martens contributed to this story.)

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