An honors English teacher from Dreher High School in South Carolina has been charged with sexual battery after she allegedly had sex with a student, according to a story from The Herald Online.
The teacher has been identified as Kinsley Wentzky, 34, of Forest Acres and she was taken into custody on Friday with a charge of sexual battery with a student who is of 16 or 17 years of age with no aggravated force or coercion. The information was released in a statement by the Columbia Police Department. Wentzky was released on $5,000 personal recognizance bond and faces five years in prison if convicted.
In a statement to Forest Acres Police, Wentzky admitted to having sex with a student, according to the arrest warrant. The student also provided a sworn statement that detailed the “intimate interaction.”
Without offering details, Lt. Bryant Hinson of the Forest Acres Police Department, said that Wentzky is also being investigated by his department. According to Ruben Santiago, the Interim Columbia Police Chief, Wentzky had sex with the student multiple times in his home in Sherwood Forest. Santiago said that the relationship lasted several months.
Jeanne Stiglbauer, the principal of Dreher High School, was informed of the relationship by the boy’s parents, according to Richland 1 District spokeswoman Karen York. The principal then informed the superintendent, who called police.
York said that Wentzky had been placed on administrative leave Wednesday with pay. The South Carolina Department of Education was notified of the allegations on Wednesday as well. Wentzky is going to be on leave until the investigation by the district is complete.
Wentzky has been teaching at the school for seven years and has been teaching for 10 years overall. Wentzky is married to Charlie Wentzky, the athletic director at A.C. Flora High School. The couple has two young children.
Wentzky is a graduate of Westside High School in Anderson and earned her bachelor’s in English from Clemson University in 2000. She earned her master’s degree in speech language pathology from USC.
In South Carolina, the law addresses relationships between students and teachers. The age of consent in the state is 16, but sexual battery with a student charges cover sexual relationships with students of ages 16 and 17.
As news broke of the teacher’s arrest, student took to social media websites to discuss the relationship and even offer praise for the student who was involved in the relationship with Wentzky.
Pamela Jacobs, executive director of the S.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, said, “As a teacher, you are in a position of authority,” Jacobs said. “There’s no way it was an equal relationship.”