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Award-winning SeaTac elementary teacher charged with child rape

Darcy Smith is shown after being named "Teacher of the Year" in 2012. (Photo courtesy Highline Public Schools.)

A SeaTac elementary school teacher once honored as one of the best instructors in the state has been charged with child rape after allegedly having sex with a former student who lived in her home.

Prosecutors filed three counts of child rape against Darcy M. Smith, 41, accusing her of having sex with the boy when he was 14 and continuing until he moved out of her home when he was 18.

In a statement Friday, Smith’s attorney Brad Meryhew said Smith is denying the allegations, according to a report by the Seattle PI. Detectives did not interview Smith’s husband or others in their home during the time of the allegations, Meryhew told the PI.

“There is a lot more to this story than is contained in the cursory investigation that was done prior to the filing of these charges,” Meryhew told the PI. “Darcy looks forward to vigorously defending herself and to being exonerated.”

Smith most recently taught at McMicken Heights Elementary School in the Highline School District. She was honored as a regional teacher of the year in 2012 and has received multiple awards from the Highline School District awards.

Court documents say the former student first reported the abuse to police in May 2014. The assaults allegedly began in September 2008.

The former student said Smith allowed him to move in with her after suffering a broken collarbone because her house was closer to the hospital, and the teacher was seen as a good influence on the boy.

She allegedly provided him with clothes, gifts and affection, and she convinced his mother to allow him to move in full time, according to the charging papers.

The former student said the “lines started to get blurred when Smith would put her hand on his shoulder or massage his back” after her family went to sleep, according to the court documents. She reportedly intensified her abuse when she drank.

The detective investigating the case said the boy “thought it was cool,” and Smith told him not to say anything. “Smith said she would go to jail and be in big trouble if he told,” the detective reported.

Parents of students taught by Smith were notified of the investigation earlier in the week, said Highline Public Schools spokeswoman Catherine Carbone Rogers.

Smith, who has been with the district since 2001, was placed on administrative leave in August when the the district was first told of the claims, Carbone Rogers said.

Smith is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 12 at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. She has not been jailed.

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