Police search Battle teacher's house after sexual offense allegations

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 | 7:23 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Computer equipment was taken from the home of a Battle High School teacher after a 16-year-old female student told her counselor she had a sexual relationship with her welding teacher, according to an affidavit filed in 13th Circuit Court.

The Boone County Sheriff's Department served a search warrant at the home of Zachary Arnold, the welding teacher at Battle, on Nov. 22 for computers or related devices "or other evidence pertaining to the offense" of second-degree statutory rape and sexual exploitation of a child.

A black Apple iPad 2 and two Lenovo Think Pads issued by Columbia Public Schools were confiscated from the home sometime between Nov. 22 and 25 during the execution of the warrant, according to court documents.

An affidavit signed by Sheriff's Detective Jessica Jameson on Nov. 22 said the student told her counselor that she and Arnold had sexual intercourse three times on school property.

The accusations also include sexually explicit conversations on the phone and via text messages. Arnold also asked her to go to a school bathroom and take pictures of her breasts on his phone, according to the affidavit.

The encounters occurred between mid-September and Oct. 10, according to the affidavit.

Detective Tom O'Sullivan of the Boone County Sheriff's Department would not comment Wednesday on the case. School district spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark also declined comment. "By law we cannot comment on faculty matters," she said.

No charges had been filed against Arnold as of Wednesday, according to Casenet. 

Supervising editor is John Schneller.

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