OTHELLO, Wash. - Formal charges have been filed in the child molestation investigation of an Othello school teacher. The Adams County prosecutor has filed formal charges against Davis. Davis has been charged with one count of 1st degree child molestation. The charge is less than what police recommended. The Othello police department recommended she be charged with two counts. Davis will make her first court appearance on Monday July 22nd in Adams County. PREVIOUS COVERAGE:
Lisa Davis a 5th grade teacher at Scootney Springs Elementary school is being investigated for alleged sex crimes committed against one of her 10 year old male students.
According to Othello Police, Davis was under investigation since May 30th when complaints were reported to police that she sexually molested one of her students. After completing an investigation, police forwarded their findings on the Adams County Prosecutor. Police recommended charging Davis with 1st degree Child Molestation. Police say Davis and the 10 year old victim are not related.
In March 2012 Davis was voted Teacher of the Month in conjunction with Eastern Washington University.
Othello Police Chief Alvia Dunnigan tells KHQ's Dylan Wohlenhaus, "Our investigation unveiled some criminal elements. Enough to charge her, we believe."
School district officials tell KHQ's Dylan Wohlenhaus that Davis resigned her position in early June. The school board approved her resignation on June 24th
Police would not say if Davis has been suspended from her teaching position or if she is still employed. The case is now in the hands of the Adams county prosecutor to determine a final charging decision.
Statement from Othello Superintendent:
On May 30, 2013, the District received information indicating possible inappropriate conduct between a teacher and a student.
The District notified the Othello Police Department the same day and the OPD began conducting an investigation.
The teacher was also place on administrative leave May 30 pending results of the police investigation and any follow-up District investigation.
Ms. Davis submitted her resignation from the District on June 18, 2013 and the Board of Directors approved resignation on June 24, 2013.
Since the police investigation found grounds to believe inappropriate conduct with a student occurred, the District will notify the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction so it may investigate the possibility of action affecting her teaching certificate.
The District is not making any further comments at this time to respect the privacy interests of the student and family.