28-year-old Katherine Ruth Harper, an ex-Northwest school district English teacher and married cheerleading coach accused of having sex with a student while she was pregnant, was sentenced to 10 years probation and six years in prison on Thursday, according to an official with the Denton County District Attorney’s Office.
The cheerleading coach was accused of having sex multiple times with a 15-year-old male student last summer at her Fort Worth home and at his home in Trophy Club, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Harper was a seventh-grade English teacher at Tidwell Middle School in Roanoke and the teen was one of her students, the affidavit stated. The two began texting and eventually Harper went to the teen’s home in Trophy Club. The suspect and the student exchanged nude pictures via cellphone, the affidavit stated. The teen saved the photos to his phone.
The teen told an investigator that he and Harper began drinking alcohol and both took off their clothes. At that time, the teen performed a sex act on Harper, the affidavit said. After that, the two had sex several times either at his home or hers during June and July of 2016.
The cheerleading coach pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault of a child and one count of having an improper relationship with a student, said Jamie Beck, Denton County first assistant criminal district attorney.
Harper will first serve the prison sentence and then be placed on probation. Once Harper completes probation she will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of her life, Beck said.
Harper is now pregnant, but it’s unclear from the affidavit whether the boy is the father of the child.
“She’s about eight months pregnant, so if we go back in time it’s around when that event took place, but she is married, we believe, still. So we’re not sure what that leads to,” Trophy Club Police Chief Patrick Arata told Fox4
School district officials initially received a tip in September 2016 about a possible relationship between Harper and the student, but that investigation was closed due to a lack of information, the affidavit stated. School officials restarted the investigation in December 2016 when they received an anonymous tip on the district’s website with much more information.