Inland Empire News
Redlands teacher sex case: Another victim comes forward - exclusive
REDLANDS, Calif. (KABC) -- A Redlands high school teacher was accused of having sex with a student and giving birth to his child. Now, another alleged victim has come forward, saying he, too, had a sexual relationship with her.
"Her and I had a physical sexual relationship," Michael Cooper told Eyewitness News in an exclusive interview. "I didn't know what to think at first. It was kind of a shock, but being a hormonal 17-year-old, I saw an opportunity and I kind of just went with it."
Cooper, now 23, says his nearly year-long relationship with Laura Whitehurst, 28, began in 2007 when he was a junior at Redlands High School and she was his English teacher.
"She came to me first. She initiated it by telling me she had a dream, where in that dream we eventually kissed," said Cooper.
Redlands police confirm they have spoken with another potential victim, but won't say if it's Cooper.
Whitehurst was arrested Monday night on suspicion of having sex with a 16-year-old student who fathered a child with her. Police say Whitehurst, who is now a teacher at Citrus Valley High School in Redlands, became involved with the student while she was his activities adviser.
"One thing led to another, and he ended up at her residence, and it's been ongoing for approximately one year now," said Commander Shawn Ryan with the Redlands Police Department.
Whitehurst gave birth to the couple's baby in June. Officials say she was open about her pregnancy and that the school district knew, but they didn't know who the alleged father was until the now 17-year-old's mother discovered the relationship and went to authorities.
Cooper says he never came forward because he didn't feel like a victim and thought he was the only one.
"I was shocked. I mean, you play with fire once; we're all people, we make mistakes. I gave her the benefit of the doubt," Cooper said. "Now that I find out that it's happened again and there's a kid from it, I'm worried there might be someone, if not multiple people, between myself and this young man."
Whitehurst is free after posting $25,000 bail. Anyone with additional information related to the case was asked to contact Redlands police at (909) 798-7681.
arrest, sex crimes, inland empire news, leanne suter
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