A Wisconsin public school principal was arrested for intimidating an alleged sexual assault victim, allegedly threatening the woman in an attempt to stop her from testifying against her boyfriend, the suspect in that case, authorities said.
Valencia Carthen, 42, of Milwaukee, is accused of urging the alleged sexual assault victim to skip court and leave town in December, according to a criminal report obtained by WITI-TV.
Carthen’s alleged attempts to stop the woman from testifying in court were meant to benefit 39-year-old Jason Cunningham, Carthen’s boyfriend and the suspect in the sexual assault case, the report said.
Cunningham is married but Carthen is one of possibly three other girlfriends, according to police reports.
The victim told investigators that “Cunningham knew her family lived in Mississippi and that Carthen told [the woman] that she knew where [the woman’s] family was in Mississippi."
Carthen allegedly told the woman that "she knew people and students around [Milwaukee Public Schools], which cause [the woman] to fear for her children’s safety as MPS students."
She is accused as to going as far as providing a letter allegedly written by the victim that said the accusations were not true. That letter was given to prosecutors in the sexual assault case.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Carthen worked as an assistant principal for Milwaukee Public Schools, and reportedly served as principal at Washington High School of Information Technology.
"Highly energetic and enthusiastic educator with a commitment to student development and learning," Carthen wrote on her LinkedIn page. "Professional who demonstrates strong leadership abilities. Motivated self-starter with excellent communication and negotiation skills. Active team member who effectively collaborates with all levels of staff and establishes quality relationships with students."
Milwaukee Public Schools is aware of the allegations, but noted they did not involve the school or students, it said in a statement issued to WITI-TV.
"The principal was removed on an emergency basis while the criminal proceedings continue," the statement said.
Carthen was charged with felony intimidating a victim. Her bail was set at $15,000 but she had bonded out of custody by Wednesday, online records show.
She is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on February 21.
Cunningham faces charges including second-degree sexual assault, strangulation and suffocation, as well as battery in connection to the sexual assault incident, for which he was arrested in September, according to online records.
His trial is set to begin on March 27.