NIXA, Mo. — A teacher from Nixa High School faces multiple sex crime charges for alleged inappropriate conduct against a student.
According to online court records, Christian County prosecutors charged Lena Stewart with: second-degree statutory rape, two counts of second-degree statutory sodomy, three counts of sexual contact with a student, and one count of first-degree sexual misconduct.
Nixa Public Schools placed Stewart on administrative leave when the allegations came to light in December.
We learned today that charges have been filed against Lena Stewart, a teacher at Nixa High School.
We take any allegation of inappropriate conduct extremely seriously, so when an allegation was made in December, the district followed policy and procedure and then placed Lena Stewart on administrative leave and will continue to follow board policy and procedure when addressing this situation.
The district will be working with the appropriate authorities as they conduct their investigation and will cooperate fully with anything they need.
You should contact the Christian County Prosecutors Office or the Nixa Police Department/City of Nixa for any questions on the investigation or charges.
Court records say an investigation began on December 7, 2022. Stewart, a second-year woodworking teacher, is accused of having sexual relations where the victim is a 16-year-old student.
According to the officer assigned to the case, when interviewing Stewart about communication methods with her students, she said she often sends and receives text messages from them.
After searching through her phone, the officer was not able to find any messages between her and the student. Stewart said her phone automatically deletes messages after a certain time.
Stewart told police that the student would come in after school and they would just talk.
In the probable cause statement, the student told police they were involved in a sexual relationship with Stewart that began in October of 2022. The pair would meet up at a friend’s house and Stewart would drive them to a secluded place.
The student admitted they were uncomfortable with the relationship, but felt pressured to continue it because he was getting an “A” in the class.
Court records show she was held on a $25,000 bond, but is no longer listed in custody in the Christian County jail. Information about her next court date isn’t currently available.