Kimberly Wellman-Rich Louisiana teacher’s aide with Lafayette Parish charged with rape of teen foreign exchange student staying at her and husband’s home.
A Louisiana teacher’s aide who was arrested in February for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old foreign exchange student has been charged with additional counts stemming from a trip to New Orleans with the boy.
Kimberly Wellman-Rich, 36, was booked into the New Orleans jail on Monday on counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, which is Louisiana’s equivalent of statutory rape, and indecent behavior, among others. She was later released on $35,000 bail.
The new charges are related to allegations that in January, Wellman-Rich took the boy from Jefferson Parish to New Orleans and had sex with him at a French Quarter hotel.
Wellman-Rich’s husband, Jeffrey Rich, later confronted the teen, who told him about his many sexual encounters with his wife, according to newly filed court documents. The teen said Jeffrey was ‘angry’ but told him to keep his encounters with Kimberly a secret ‘from everyone except him.’
In mid-February, Wellman-Rich, who worked as a special education teacher’s aide at Edgar Martin Middle School, was arrested in Jefferson Parish on similar charges related to her suspected sexual relationship with the 16-year-old foreign exchange student from Europe, who had been staying at her house.
Educator hosted foreign exchange student victim at her home
She was fired from her job less than two weeks after her February 11 arrest, Nola.com reported.
Jeffrey Rich, 35, was charged at the time with accessory after the fact to felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. He remains free on bail.
The case began unfolding on January 22, when an anonymous tipster told police that Wellman-Rich was hosting a juvenile foreign exchange student at her home in Youngsville and having sex with him.
Police said they interviewed witnesses and gathered evidence, which led them to believe that Wellman-Rich’s husband ‘had first-hand knowledge’ of the alleged abuse.
Investigators also said they learned that the couple allowed the teen to smoke marijuana and drink alcoholic beverages in their home with them.
The teenager was removed from the home once the investigation began, police told KFLY.
According to documents filed in court this week, the couple began hosting the teen in August 2020.
Multiple ongoing sex
When the boy turned 16, Wellman-Rich allegedly had sex with him. Police said the teen was a virgin before his encounter with the married teacher’s aide.
During his interview with investigators, the boy said he and Wellman-Rich had sex multiple times on the couch, in her bed and in the guest room. During some of the encounters Jeffrey was at home but in another room.
According to the filings, Wellman-Rich told friends about her relationship with the minor, but pleaded with him to keep it a secret. The legal age of consent in Louisiana is 17.
In addition to the new charges in New Orleans, Wellman-Rich faces counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, indecent behavior with a juvenile, contributing to the delinquency of minors and encouraging child delinquency in Jefferson Parish.