MARIES COUNTY, Mo. – A teacher from central Missouri is facing charges of promoting obscenity, attempted statutory rape, and other crimes for pursuing an inappropriate relationship with an underage student.
According to a probable cause statement obtained by FOX 2, the Maries County Sheriff’s Office was alerted on Oct. 19 about a report filed by a local school district about an inappropriate relationship involving Rikki Lynn Laughlin, 24, and a male student, 16.
Investigators claim Laughlin sent nude photos of herself to the student, along with videos of her performing sexual acts.
The student told investigators that Laughlin reached out to him on the social media app Snapchat shortly after the school year began and that the two eventually kissed while in a classroom.
In later conversations, Laughlin allegedly invited the student to her home on Oct. 14 while her husband was gone, for the purposes of having sexual intercourse. The student said he did not feel comfortable meeting Laughlin and made excuses for not going.
The probable cause statement says Laughlin solicited the student for nude photos, and the student acquiesced.
Laughlin instructed the student to delete the videos and photographs from his phone because people were talking about them being in contact on social media, going so far as to tell the student she could go to jail.
Maries County detectives met with Laughlin at her home in St. James and interviewed her about the relationship. Laughlin first denied the allegations, but eventually told law enforcement that the student contacted her on Snapchat first.
She said that she attempted to shut the issue down multiple times with the student, that she was unaware he was a minor, and that she did not solicit nude photos from him.
The probable cause statement says Laughlin gave written consent for investigators to search her cellphone. Investigators found three videos on the teacher’s phone that corroborate what the student told them.
The Maries County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Laughlin with first-degree promoting obscenity, furnishing pornographic material to a minor, second-degree attempted statutory rape, tampering with a witness, possession of child pornography, and tampering with physical evidence.