Tonya Drueppel was arrested on charges of Rape and Sexual Contact with a Child Under 16 after an investigation by the Sioux Falls Police Department that started earlier this month. The details that follow may be disturbing to some people.
According to court papers, Drueppel was first seen with the victim earlier this month at the Sioux Falls YMCA where they were spotted together in the corner of a bathroom.
That information led officers to interview the 14-year-old victim at Axtell Park Middle School on January 23. In the court papers, the victim said Drueppel was her teacher at school in 2012. She also described the details of her relationship with Drueppel, including kissing each other on at least four different occasions. The victim alleges that one time while at Falls Park the two admitted to liking each other and that she performed oral sex on Drueppel. She also says they went out to movies together and one of the times on the way home, Drueppel allegedly pulled the car over on a side street where the two kissed and the victim admits fondling Drueppel. The victim also stayed over at Drueppel's home at least two times which led to more sexual acts.
Last Friday, the victim did not show up to school and Drueppel did not show up to work at a daycare in Tea. Officers eventually found both of them at The Nites Inn, where Drueppel was attempting to hang herself.
Drueppel was taken to the Law Enforcement Center, where she told police that nothing was planned out between her and the victim, and that things just happened and she was not thinking.
The Sioux Falls School District addressed the allegations against their former employee, who started with them in 2009 but then resigned in May of 2013.
"We hold ourselves and our employees to the highest level of behavior, and it's very difficult when we know a child has been involved," Sioux Falls Schools Superintendent Pam Homan said.
Homan says extensive background checks are done on all their employees, and that this kind of behavior is not tolerated under any circumstances.
"Safety is always our number one concern, and when we know that an event, a person, or anything puts a child at risk, we deal with it and we deal with it as quickly as we can," Homan said.
Drueppel is being held on $500,000 cash bond and is expected to make her first court appearance Thursday afternoon.