38-year-old Kelli Cuperus works at the
The Sioux County Sheriff's Department believes the first incident happened in May of last year, when the boy was still 15 years old. That's where the sexual abuse charges come from, because the boy wasn't old enough to consent.
But Cuperus is charged with different crimes from after the boy turned 16, sexual exploitation by a school employee and lascivious conduct with a minor, for as many as 20 sex acts that authorities believe happened during the school year.
Investigators believe sometime during the week of May 23-27, 2005, 38-year-old Kelli Cuperus picked up a 15-year-old boy from the Boyden-Hull high school. They say she drove him to his home in
Cuperus worked at the school twice a week as a teacher's aid.
Court papers state the next time it happened was in August at Cuperus's home in
These acts of sexual contact include sexual intercourse, says Sioux County Attorney Melissa ORourke.
Most of the alleged incidents happened in either at Cuperus's home or in her vehicle. The Sheriff's Department believes from August of last year to this month, it happened between 15 and 20 times.
The Sioux County Sheriff's Office was initially contacted by personnel from the
School administrators wouldn't say who told them about the alleged relationship. But court papers indicate the sexual contact was still going on this month even as the school began its own internal investigation. Administrators put Cuperus on leave Monday night. She was arrested Wednesday.
Cuperus has been with the school since 1999 and there are no other complaints in her file. Today she's out of jail on a $10,000 bond, facing charges that could carry as many as 25 years in prison.