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Teacher's aide at Appleton high school accused of sexual assault

by
Laura Bates
Appleton West High School is seen, Dec. 3, 2013. (Photo from FOX 11).
Laura Bates

CHILTON, WI (WTAQ) - Authorities in Calumet County say a former teacher's aide at Appleton West High School admits to having sex with a student.

44-year-old Laura Bates is charged with sexual assault of a student by a school staff member. Bates is accused of having sex with the 17-year-old special education student at Bates' home in the town of Chilton.

According to a criminal complaint, Bates resigned after being questioned by police and had been employed by the district for three years.

Sheriff's investigators say the victim and Bates developed a relationship beyond that of a normal teacher-student over the past year. Bates told authorities she loved the boy, and it turned sexual in November.

“She had also indicated also that he was possibly was her soul mate,” District Attorney Nicholas Bolz told FOX 11.

Police indicate a relative of Bates, who's married with 3 children, tipped off authorities about the sexual relationship Friday. It happened after Bates told that person it was, "too late" to stop it before it turned physical.Lt. Mark Wiegert of the Calumet County Sheriff's Department says there is no reason to believe there are other victims.

"However, we continue to talk with people, we continue to conduct interviews," Wiegert told FOX 11.

Police are also investigating possible incidents in Outagamie County.

Appleton school district officials say there were no red flags raised to Bates' work history or in the three years she spent with the district. If there are concerns, parents are encouraged to contact the district. A letter will be sent home with students.

Bates is out of jail on a $20,000 signature bond. She is due back in court later this month.

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