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Riverdale Christian Academy fires English teacher accused of having sex with 2 student

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — Riverdale Christian Academy administrators have fired English teacher Ashley Dowden following her confession to deputies that she had sex with a 16-year-old student.

The Rev. Preston Thompson tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1qD7qau ) Dowden originally was placed on administrative leave following her arrest Friday.

Dowden was arrested after admitting that she had sex with a 16-year-old boy and had exchanged nude photos and explicit text messages with him, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

When school officials learned Dowden admitted to deputies that she had sex with the student, they fired her, Thompson said. The move is retroactive to Aug. 21, he said.

The firing came before sheriff's deputies issued Dowden a misdemeanor summons Tuesday for inappropriate conduct between a teacher and student following an 18-year-old student's allegations that she went to his house in April during her lunch break and had sex with him.

Louisiana law states inappropriate conduct between a teacher and a student is defined as a school employee having sex with a student who is between 17 and 21.

"Even before this misdemeanor charge was added, her employment at Riverdale Christian Academy was terminated," Thompson said.

The school puts language in all contracts allowing them to terminate any school employee at any time, he said.

Thompson said sheriff's deputies told him after the first allegations against Dowden that they had no reason to suspect she had slept with other students. Investigators reiterated that statement to him following the allegations made by the second student.

She was booked into Parish Prison on Friday on counts of computer-aided solicitation of a juvenile, indecent behavior with a juvenile and carnal knowledge of a juvenile. She has since been released on bail.

It was unclear whether Dowden has an attorney.


Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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