Lexington Teacher Booked Into U.S. Jail
FBI Agents Find Nebraska Teacher, Student In Mexico
OMAHA, Neb. -- A Lexington junior high school teacher was back in the United States Saturday afternoon after FBI agents from San Diego took her to the Imperial County Jail in El Centro, Calif.
Kelsey Peterson was found with her 13-year-old student in Mexico on Friday night. The minor was released to his relatives in Mexico, ABC reported.
Peterson is accused of having a sexual relationship with the boy. Peterson was a sixth-grade math teacher and basketball coach at Lexington Middle School. The boy is an eighth-grade student at the school.
U.S. Attorney Joe Stecher said Peterson's vehicle entered Mexico this week.
"We do know the vehicle she was traveling in did cross the border. We know that because the license plate was captured by a camera. It's reasonable to assume they were in the vehicle," Stecher said.
The FBI said agents were in Mexico on Friday working with Mexican police to track down Peterson and the boy.
The FBI said around 7:30 p.m. central time, Peterson and the boy were found in Mexicali, Mexico. They were taken into custody by officials from the Baja California State Preventive Police Agency.
FBI agents from the San Diego Field Office and the FBI Imperial County Resident Agency Office said they were on their way to Mexicali to meet with Mexican authorities.
"Anytime you have an adult taking advantage of a child, this is a child 13 years old, it becomes priority," Stecher said. "It's a manipulative crime. You talk about a 13-year-old. How much influence has been put on them for this and you don't know what direction it will turn."
It's believed that a police investigation caused Peterson and the boy to flee to Mexico, ABC News reported. Authorities wanted to know if the teacher was having an intimate relationship with they boy after the eighth-grader's family reported deep suspicions.
The boy's cousin, Jessica Vera, told ABC that the teen was always at Peterson's house and they spent a lot of time together.
Peterson had been put on administrative leave a day before she apparently left town with the
Lexington Principal Todd Chessmore said he had no reason to have acted earlier.
"There was no prior indication that we should be concerned," Chessmore told ABC.
Peterson faces charges, according to Dawson County Attorney Elizabeth Waterman.
"I have charged her with one count of kidnapping, with felony child abuse and with contributing to the delinquency of a minor," Waterman said.
Peterson also faces federal charges, including transporting a minor across state lines or a foreign border for sexual activity. If found guilty, the conviction could carry a 10-year prison sentence.
Stecher told KETV NewsWatch 7 that Peterson and her alleged victim will be interviewed on their return, and the appropriate charges will be filed expeditiously.
Last week, love letters between the boy and Peterson were allegedly discovered on the teacher's school computer. In one letter, court records show, the boy said he loved Peterson and their relationship wasn't "just about sex."
The records show that Peterson also admitted to her father she was having a sexual relationship with a student, but she told him the boy was 16.
The two disappeared from Lexington on Saturday.
1st- let me say i'm very glad this child has been found safe.
secondly-I want to know, why is it that teachers are finding STUDENTS (CHILDREN) attractive??