GOOSE CREEK, S.C. - A woman recently honored as "Teacher of the Year" was behind bars yesterday, charged with having a sexual relationship with a female student.
Kanesa Hopkins, 31, a math instructor at Westville Middle School who also teaches Sunday school at her church, was being held on $300,000 bail after being arrested Monday, officials said.
"The victim came forward about two weeks ago and gave us a statement, alleging this abuse occurred several years ago," said Detective Sgt. Jerry Jellico of the North Charleston police.
Hopkins had been both the girl's math teacher at Westville and her Sunday school teacher at church, Jellico said.
The alleged victim told cops she was in the seventh grade when she and Hopkins began exchanging letters and spending time together in August 2001.
The relationship became physical by January 2003, the student said.
Jellico said the alleged victim, who is now 18, gave investigators copies of "love letters" she and the teacher exchanged. "When we showed them to the teacher, she made a statement and was arrested," he said.
Hopkins was charged with two counts of committing a lewd act upon a child under 16 and three counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
Just weeks before the arrest, Westville had named Hopkins its Teacher of the Year. Hopkins, who has taught at the school for eight years, was placed on administrative leave with pay.