AKRON, Ohio – An Ohio teacher faces multiple sex crimes over an alleged three year relationship with a student at an Akron high school that produced a child in 2015.
Former eighth grade English teacher Laura Lynn Cross, 36, faces three counts of sexual battery involving her relationship with a freshman at Buchtel High School between Aug. 1, 2013 and Sept. 6, 2016, WEWS reports.
“First of all, she’s a schoolteacher,” the boy’s father, who was not identified, told the news station. “To get aroused by a child basically you have to be a sick individual.”
The father said he first reported concerns about his son’s relationship with Cross to both school officials and Tallmadge Police in 2012, but his reports did not result in criminal charges.
It wasn’t until a tipster called the teen’s father to inform him that Cross allegedly gave birth to his son’s child in 2015 that officials took action. Cross resigned from her teaching position in 2015.
“It was a straight failure of the system,” he said. “From the school and definitely the police.”
Officials in the Akron School System told Fox 8 they’re now “doing our own internal investigation going back to 2012 to determine what exactly happened and when it happened.”
The alleged sexual abuse began after Cross invited the teen to her house to use her swimming pool, which evolved into the boy spending the night, according to the Daily Mail.
“She later convinced the boy’s mother to let him move into her home as part of a court approved ‘partial parental custody’ arrangement because she was his ‘mentor,’” the Daily Mail reports.
Cross’ Facebook feed is allegedly filled with photos of the two, some of which have been reposted to a “Justice for Laura Lynn Cross” Facebook page.
“Laura Lynn Cross has been separated from her baby and the underage father,” the page description reads. “She has been indicted on three counts of sexual batter. She belongs with her family.”
The page is promoting a GoFundMe fundraiser to support Cross’ baby and “also help pay for legal fees!”
“Who will raise the baby if she goes to prison?” the page questions. “Men often date much younger women. Is this just sexism?”
Several folks who replied to the post seem to think so.
“Well said! It is sexism because if it was the other way around, like a black man that did this to a white girl. I am pretty sure that you would all call to lynch the black man right?” Ed Pierre wrote. “Just shut the hell up in defending a pedophile. You should be ashamed of yourself to even open a site to defend a child molester …”
“She raped a CHILD. SHE RAPED A CHILD! WTF is wrong with you?” Angela Dawn posted. “She was an authoritative figured placed to educate children. She raped a child. She shouldn’t be allowed near children, even her own. She should be in prison. SHE RAPED A CHILD!”
“Yeah men do date much younger women and when they are too young i.e teenagers, they are often arrested, charged and convicted of statutory rape and sentenced, then made to register as a sex offender,” Nyisha Peake wrote. “And since I am all for equality, she should get the same. Let’s acknowledge her for the pedophile she is.”
Others who reportedly know Cross also chimed in.
“The baby was born in 2015 and was given up for adoption in the Carolinas!!! I know Laura and this entire situation stunk from day one. Anyone who called her out on her actions was berated by her for even insinuating that her relationship with this boy was inappropriate and downright wrong,” Cindy Koerber-Hawkins posted.
“As far as her being ripped away from her other children is also fake news. She chose to leave those kids to go live her life with this kid. Now that sure does sound like mother of the year to me. What you also don’t see is that she has a shoplifting charge, drug charge and stealing of a rental car still pending. Now you tell me you want to set up a go fund me page to help with her legal fees?? Would that be ALL of her legal fees?” Hawkins continued. “This woman has destroyed lives and needs to be punished to the maximum.”