Iowa Teacher Accused of Sexual Abuse Had 7-Year Relationship With Middle School Student, Police Say

Rachel Whiteside
Rachel Whiteside (above) is currently out on bail.PCSO, ACSD

The alleged victim told police that Rachel Whiteside "performed oral sex and penetrated them with the [her] fingers in [Whiteside's] classroom," according to the sexual abuse complaint.

An Iowa teacher is accused of sexually abusing a student for years, starting when the alleged victim was still in middle school, according to police.

Rachel Whiteside, 34, a middle school teacher and high school softball coach, was charged with one count of sexual abuse, four counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee and one count of lascivious conduct with a minor, according to a court documents obtained by Inside Edition Digital.

"The sexual relationship started around the 2014 school year while the former student attended Northview Middle School, and continued through the student’s high school years and into college," alleges a police report obtained by Inside Edition Digital.

Northview Middle School is located in Ankeny, located just 10 miles north of the state capital, Des Moines.

The sexual conduct included "kissing, hugging, touching of genitals (penetration of genitals with fingers), and oral sex," and occurred during four years that the student attended the school," according to a criminal complaint obtained by Inside Edition Digital.

Authorities say that a "Happy Anniversary" email sent by Whiteside to the victim in 2022 "verified their romantic relationship started at least 7 years prior, when the student was in 9th grade and between 14 and 15 years old," according to the complaint.

Police said the alleged victim told them that Whiteside "performed oral sex and penetrated them with the [her] fingers in [Whiteside's] classroom," according to the complaint. This allegedly occurred when the student was a 15-year-old sophomore, according to the complaint.

In the complaint charging Whiteside with lascivious conduct, the defendant allegedly recalled "driving to an area park with an empty building with tables" where Whiteside "took off victim's pants and performed oral sex." The victim was 14 or 15 years old, according to the complaint.

In her statement included in the police report, the alleged victim said she came forward to protect other possible victims, saying:

"As a minor, I was confused about my sexuality and wasn’t sure about my own identity. Rachel Whiteside 
groomed me and abused me. It wasn’t until just before I turned 23 that I broke ties with her. She continued our relationship and I agreed to it throughout college, but I suffered through being controlled and emotionally abused and even physically abused by her. I wasn’t allowed to drink alcohol unless it was with her, she controlled my every move and had my location. She made me believe this was normal. She’s a threat to children based on what she has done to me and should be monitored." 

Jail records show that officers booked Whiteside into the Polk County Jail on Wednesday and she posted bail on Thursday.

Whiteside cannot have contact with any minors under the age of 18 as a condition of her release, according to the court docket. The docket also shows that the judge rejected Whiteside's request for a court-appointed public defender, and she does not appear to have a lawyer at this time.

The Ankeny Community School District removed Whitside's name from their online faculty directory after her arrest.

Whiteside has yet to enter a plea to any of the six charges she is facing in the case.

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