An educator once dubbed “Teacher of the Year” is accused of having sex with a teenage student in Yucaipa, California.
Thirty-eight-year-old Tracy Vanderhulst is a math teacher at Yucaipa High School who is now facing charges of statutory rape, the New York Post reported Saturday.
An image shows the woman accused in the case:
— New York Post (@nypost) May 21, 2023
Authorities with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said the charges against her came Thursday after officials looked into accusations that she had sex with a minor.
However, the time and place of the alleged incident remained unclear. The Post report noted, “The victim was described as a 16-year-old high school student at Yucaipa High School, although it’s not clear if he is still a student there.”
Following her arrest, the woman was booked into the Central Detention Center and her bail set at $30,000.
Video footage from March 2016 appears to show Vanderhulst demonstrating math problems on a dry erase board for her students:
Now, authorities believe there may be more victims involved in the case.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) website, children are unable to consent to any kind of sexual activity.
“When a perpetrator engages with a child this way, they are committing a crime that can have lasting effects on the victim for years,” the organization continued:
The majority of perpetrators are someone the child or family knows. As many as 93 percent of victims under the age of 18 know the abuser. A perpetrator does not have to be an adult to harm a child. They can have any relationship to the child including an older sibling or playmate, family member, a teacher, a coach or instructor, a caretaker, or the parent of another child.
Meanwhile, the Post article said the teacher had reportedly been given the title of the school’s teacher of the year in 2017.