Teacher to be charged with molestation

Police: Judith Burke touched a student inappropriately and will be arraigned on Sept. 8.
Friday, August 12, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 7:25 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 14, 2008

[Note: this story has been modified since its original posting.]

A Rock Bridge High School teacher arrested on suspicion of inappropriately touching a 16-year-old male student is scheduled to be arraigned in Boone County Court on Sept. 8, when she will be charged with second-degree child molestation, police said.

Judith Burke, 51, who was released from police custody Wednesday, will be asked to enter a plea at that time, said Detective Latisha Stroer of the Columbia Police Department. Second-degree child molestation is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Burke, a learning specialist with Rock Bridge’s special education department, has been placed on paid leave, said Lynn Barnett, assistant superintendent for Student Support Services. Barnett said the Columbia Board of Education is currently performing an investigation of the incident, led by Superintendent Phyllis Chase in cooperation with Rock Bridge Principal Andy Kohl, and will share information and work with police.

Burke was arrested at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday at Rock Bridge High School. Sgt. John White said police were notified Tuesday of an alleged incident involving Burke and the student. Police did not disclose who contacted them.

Attempts to contact Burke on Thursday were unsuccessful.

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