HOUSTON – A teacher at The Woodlands Christian Academy is accused of an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old female student, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Lacey Jo Cunningham, 32, faces second-degree felony improper relationship between educator/student charge in connection with the charges. She was released after paying a $50,000 bond.
The alleged relationship between Cunningham and the student came to light when the teen told her mother about it, MCSO wrote in a press release Wednesday. Authorities and school officials were notified of the accusations on Dec. 13, 2019. Cunningham was placed on administrative leave from the school, officials said in an email to parents.
The victim claims to have had about 20 sexual encounters with Cunningham, court records show.
Investigators interviewed Cunningham and searched her home at her consent, removing electronic devices for forensic and digital analysis, according to an affidavit filed in court.
As a result of the investigation, a warrant was issued for Cunningham’s arrest and officials say she turned herself in on Dec. 19, 2019.
Montgomery County Prosecutor Lora Beckman explained that the charge Cunningham faces gives prosecutors “the ability to prosecute defendants who are in positions of authority and power and who manipulate that power and authority and victimize students, who they supervise at their school, regardless of their age.”
Officials with The Woodlands Christian Academy notified parents of the accusations against Cunningham in a letter.
“The safety of our students is our top priority,” school officials wrote. “We take seriously the faith and trust you put in us to care for your children. Through training, policies and promoting a nurturing and professional culture at The Woodlands Christian Academy, our employees learn the high standards and expectations we have of them regarding their interactions with students. This news is deeply upsetting, and we will thoroughly review this situation and identify additional steps to protect our school community.”
If you have any information about this case, authorities are asking you to contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 936-760-5800 or Multi-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392-STOP (7867) and refer to case #19A399382.