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Former teacher charged with multiple counts of rape of a student 9 years after she stopped teaching at the school

A former Delaware middle school teacher has been charged with multiple counts of rape of a student nearly a decade after she stopped teaching at the school. Reed Messer, 42, was extradited to Delaware on Monday after being arrested at her home in Greenville, South Carolina, according to Delaware State Police.

Teacher Child Sexual Abuse
This photo released by the Delaware State Police on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, shows Reed Messer.  / AP

Police received a report from the Division of Family Services in late December alleging that a former teacher at Stanton Middle School in Wilmington had a sexual relationship with a juvenile student about nine years ago, authorities said. Investigators determined that the teacher and student apparently began a sexual relationship in October 2014 that lasted about two months.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Messer on April 26, and she was taken into custody by South Carolina authorities.

Messer is charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child by a person of trust, 10 counts of third-degree rape, and 10 counts of fourth-degree rape. She is being held at Delaware's women's prison with bond set at $310,000 cash. The court docket did not list an attorney for Messer.

"Due to the sensitivity of this case, and in consideration of the victim, only limited information will be released," police said.

Messer has not been an employee of the Red Clay Consolidated School District, which includes Stanton Middle School, since November 2014, Delaware authorities said.

After leaving Delaware, Messer was apparently hired by Legacy Early College, a charter school in Greenville, South Carolina. Officials at the school did not respond to an email query seeking confirmation that she worked there.

The South Carolina Department of Education's website indicates that Messer was first certified as a teacher in that state in July 2015 for elementary and early childhood education, middle level language arts, English and special education. Messer received a literacy specialist endorsement in November. Her certificate status reads: "summary suspension."

"Due to the serious nature of these allegations of misconduct, Ms. Messer may pose a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of students, who may be under her instruction and that emergency action is required," the department wrote in a report.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and urged anyone with information to contact authorities. Tips can be sent to the Delaware State Police or by contacting Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-847-3333.

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