Former Puyallup teacher sentenced to 6 months house arrest for having sex with student

Jun 4, 2024, 12:17 PM | Updated: Jun 5, 2024, 3:53 am

puyallup teacher sentenced...

Interior of an empty classroom. (Photo: Rodin Eckenroth, Getty Images)

(Photo: Rodin Eckenroth, Getty Images)

A former Puyallup teacher has been sentenced to six months of house arrest after she pleaded guilty last year to three counts of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor — a student of hers.

According to The Tacoma News Tribune, the teacher, 31-year-old Lindsey Westerfield, pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor in 2019 while teaching at Cascade Christian High School.

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Two of the sexual encounters happened after the student turned 18, as reported by the Tribune. The teacher and student communicated on the social media platform Snapchat and met up at each other’s houses, never on school grounds.

The then 18-year-old student told investigators, according to the Tribune, he had an emotional relationship with Westerfield. The student’s father told police the relationship had started up and ended multiple times and, at one point, the victim dropped out of college to get a job to support her.

Washington’s age of consent laws state school employees five years older than their students cannot engage in sexual conduct with students until they’ve reached the age of 21.

Puyallup detectives began investigating her in 2019, but the case stalled until 2022 when investigators learned Westerfield was seeking employment on the state’s charter school commission. The victim then disclosed new details to authorities after learning she had been fired, according to court documents acquired by The Tacoma News Tribune.

More on local education: Shoreline parents gather for same-sex teacher whose contract was not renewed

Westerfield is required to get treatment for 54 months and to register as a sex offender for 10 years. She is prohibited from holding any job supervising minors younger than 13.

She had no prior criminal convictions.

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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