High school science teacher allegedly admits to sex with student, 15

WILLIAMSBURG, Pa. — Police in Pennsylvania say a high school science teacher had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy, who later reported the incidents to the school's superintendent.

The victim told an investigator with the Pennsylvania State Police that in early July he went swimming at the home of 44-year-old Nikki Varney, a science teacher at Williamsburg High School.  

"The inappropriate contact began while he was swimming at her residence and they moved to the hot tub," an investigator wrote in an affidavit obtained by CBS News.

The victim told police later that day he and Varney went to Canoe Creek State Park, about four miles from Varney's Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania home. He said they walked her dog along a path before having sex on a bench near the path.

The boy said he and the teacher communicated using the Snapchat social media app, on which messages are only available for a short time before disappearing. 

Later in July, he said Varney "told him she would be home alone and then picked him from basketball practice. He then stated that they went to her residence, where they had sex," according to the affidavit.

On Aug. 25, the day after an investigator interviewed the boy, Varney was interviewed at the school. She allegedly admitted to having sex with the boy at the park and in her home.

She was charged with eight counts related to unlawful sex with a minor, including two charges of institutional sexual assault. 

Varney ran unsuccessfully in April for the Holliday Area School Board. Before the election she told the local Altoona Mirror newspaper that she had taught for 21 years in Maine, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

"Being a parent, teacher, and taxpayer gives me a unique perspective into all three stakeholders school directors affect," she said. "I have children in the school system so I understand the importance that children receive the educational foundation they need to flourish and to become contributing members of society."  

Varney is being held on $150,000 bail, according to court records. No attorney for her is currently listed.

  • Graham Kates

    Graham Kates is an investigative reporter covering criminal justice, privacy issues and information security for CBSNews.com.