Virginia Biology Teacher, 34, Accused of Sex with Minor

A Virginia high school teacher faces multiple charges after authorities say she had sex with a minor.

Miranda Nicole Pauley, 34, was a biology teacher at Patrick Henry High School in Ashland, Virginia. She was arrested on Thursday and charged with four felony counts of indecent liberties by a custodian and one felony count of use of a communication system for crimes against children, according to a charging affidavit viewed by PEOPLE.

Sgt. James Cooper of the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the charges stem from a sexual relationship Pauley allegedly had with a minor, but Cooper declined to say if a student at the high school was involved. Local news sources including WTVR, however, have reported that the alleged affair was between Pauley and a student and that at least one incident occurred on school property.

Pauley has taught at the high school since the 2006-2007 school year. The alleged sexual contact happened in late 2017 and early 2018, according to the charging affidavit.

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The school district confirms to PEOPLE that Pauley has been terminated from her employment. She was escorted out of the school building last Thursday.

“This news is very disturbing, and we take these matters seriously,” Hanover County Public Schools said in a statement on Monday. “While our policy prohibits the release of specific details concerning personnel-related matters, we will continue to work closely and in full cooperation with the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.”

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Pauley has been released on $50,000 bail. As part of her bond conditions, she is to have no contact with anyone under the age of 19, unless the minor is accompanied a parent or guardian. She is also barred from any school property, except to retrieve her personal belongings.

Pauley has not yet entered a plea. Her attorney, James Driggs, did not immediately return a call for comment.

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