Community in shock after Jamestown teacher accused of sexual assaultJamestown, ND (WDAY TV) - The community of Jamestown is in shock today after allegations have surfaced that one of its teachers sexual assaulted a teenage student.
The community of Jamestown is in shock today after allegations have surfaced that one of its teachers sexual assaulted a teenage student.
A 54 year-old construction technology professor has just made $5,000 bail after being arrested around noon yesterday. Charging documents say the teacher touched the student inappropriately and using an electronic device to lure a minor. Now, Jamestown School officials are calling this a sad day for education.
Bob Toso – Jamestown Superintendent: “You see these things happen across the country and you just shake your head and you don't think it'll happen in North Dakota, but it has. You're just saddened.”
Richard Laqua has taught at Jamestown Schools for more than two decades. Since coming to the district in 1988 he’s never had a bad review.
Bob Toso: “Evaluations have always been excellent, never anything to suggest anything like this. He works well with students.”
Laqua is now being charged with grabbing a 17 year-old female student on the buttocks on November 7th. Later that day, charging documents say he sent sexually explicit text messages to the minor. State officials are unsure at this point if there are more victims.
Troy LeFevre – ND Assistant State’s Attorney: “Obviously sometimes you get a case like this and other people come forward, but that would be pure speculation in this case. To my knowledge this is the victim in this matter.”
Although Laqua is out on bail, he is forbidden from coming onto school grounds and cannot contact the alleged victim. He is currently on paid administrative leave.
Bob Toso: “Never had to deal with anything like this before and it's really sad.”
Both charges are Class C felonies and punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a minimum of 5 years probation. If convicted, Laquay will lose his teaching license and must register as a sex offender for a minimum of 15 years.