Teacher charged with sexual abuse jailed for additional

Posted: Friday, February 09, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Palmer teacher charged with sexual abuse of a minor turned herself in to Alaska State Troopers Wednesday night for violating terms of her release by having contact with her victim, a 16-year-old student.

Rhonda Gildersleeve, 32, a Colony High School teacher, was charged with misdemeanor sexual abuse of a minor on Jan. 19 after she told her therapist about an encounter with the student on Dec. 22.

The therapist called the state Division of Family and Youth Services, which contacted troopers. Troopers said Gildersleeve told them the abuse, which occurred in December and January off school grounds, involved inappapropriate touching.

Gildersleeve turned herself into troopers Wednesday night for having contact with the victim on several occasions since her initial court appearance Jan. 19.

Troopers said further investigation found that Gildersleeve had engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim in December and January, not just inappropriate touching. As a result, charges against her were upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony, which carries a jail term of up to 5 years and $50,000 in fines.

Gildersleeve was being held without bail at the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility, pending arraignment on the new charges.

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