(Mankato, MN) – A teacher at Mankato West High School has resigned amid an investigation into allegations that she had sex with a student.
Mankato School District officials tell SMN that art teacher Tessa Downs submitted her official resignation as of Wednesday, October 4th. The district says it had been aware of the allegations and had received the investigative files from police this summer.
Since the student was 18 at the time of the alleged sexual relationship, that is not illegal in Minnesota and the 30-year-old Downs was not charged with a crime, although there will be a push to change that at next year’s State Legislature.
According to publicly available investigative reports, Mankato police were alerted in July by the mother of a student, who reported that her son admitted that he had a sexual relationship Downs. The mother says her son told her that the relationship began in March, with the first incident occurring at the Downs’ residence after a meeting of the art club. The mother says her son told her the relationship ended in June.
The Mankato School District had been looking into the allegations, but that ends with her resignation.
In addition, police reports show that Downs was also the subject of an investigation into the alleged stalking and harassment of a female student, but the evidence obtained did not support criminal charges.
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Photo credit: SMN.