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Former teacher in South Dakota to remain in jail on a rape charge; judge refuses to lower bond


SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota — A former southeast South Dakota teacher will remain in jail after a judge refused to lower her $500,000 bond.

The Argus Leader reports ( ) that 34-year-old Tonya Drueppel has been charged with rape and sexual contact with a child. Authorities have accused the former Sioux Falls teacher of having a romantic relationship with a middle school student.

The teen in January told police that the two continued a friendship after Drueppel left the school, and that their relationship had turned sexual.

Drueppel has acknowledged the relationship, but has denied any sexual contact.

Drueppel's attorney argued for a lower bond ahead of the scheduled January trial, but Judge Mark Salter rejected any changes saying his decision was based on Drueppel's role as a teacher and the length of the alleged relationship.

Information from: Argus Leader,

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