An award-winning Arkansas teacher has been jailed after admitting to having a sexual relationship with a student.
Leah Queen, 44, pleaded guilty earlier this week to sexual assault after previously pleading not guilty.
Queen, a native of Oklahoma, was a physical education teacher at Gentry Middle School in Gentry, near Fayetteville.
The assault happened 13 years ago in 2010 when the high school student was 17 and Queen was 31.
Although the age of consent in Arkansas is 16, teachers can only have sexual relations with students once they turn 18.
The former student detailed in court documents how sexual contact between them began in the summer of 2010.
Arkansas teacher Leah Queen, 44, has been sentenced to 58 days in prison after confessing to having had a sexual relationship with a student
Queen, who was a physical education teacher, pleaded guilty to sexual assault earlier this week, although the relationship with the student occurred 13 years ago in 2010.
In 2019, she received a Golden Apple award for being nominated by one of her students for the local television station KNWA.
The affidavit indicated how Queen and the victim “engaged in deviant sexual activity” prior to the minor’s senior year of high school.
She had been on a camping trip when she kissed the victim. A student diary also detailed several other instances of intimacy between the pair.
Queen had sex with the student in her office, in her office bathroom at school and even at her home, according to an affidavit.
The student’s parents, Queen’s ex-husband and another former schoolteacher corroborated various details of the student’s allegations.
Queen, who had been teaching grades 3-5 at the time of her arrest, had been a teacher in the Gentry school district for more than 20 years.
Queen had also undergone a major transformation when it came to her weight.
Queen was a physical education teacher and accepted the role losing half her body weight over 10 years.
It’s a huge fall from grace for the former teacher who in 2022 was named ‘Teacher of the Year’ at her school.
An affidavit recounted how Queen befriended the victim after a basketball game and then the pair began socializing outside of school hours.
Queen’s ex also reported seeing the victim sharing a bed with his ex-wife on several occasions.
Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren placed Queen on six years of state-supervised probation and sentenced her to 58 days in the Benton County Jail.
He was also ordered not to have any contact with the victim.
Queen, who had been teaching grades 3-5 at the time of her arrest, had been a teacher in the Gentry school district for more than 20 years and initially pleaded not guilty but later changed her plea.
Queen initially pleaded not guilty, but changed her plea to guilty
Queen was a physical education teacher and accepted the role losing half her body weight over 11 years.
Queen is featured in a photo with a current boyfriend who appears regularly in her social media posts.
Queen will never be allowed to set foot in a classroom again. She must also register as a sex offender and must complete a sex offender treatment program.
She also agreed not to be employed as a teacher again as part of the plea agreement.
Queen must register as a sex offender and must complete a sex offender treatment program.
Queen had undergone a major transformation in recent years as she stepped into her role as a physical education teacher, losing hundreds of pounds in weight from 300 pounds to 165 pounds over the course of a decade.
It is a great fall from grace for the former teacher who in 2022 was named ‘Teacher of the Year’ at her school and who in 2019 received a Golden Apple award for being nominated by one of her young students on local television. KNWA.
‘When I was a kid in second grade, I had a teacher who didn’t make me feel very much. I just wanted to love my babies. I have passion and drive for this and they love me too,” Queen told the station as she accepted the award from her.