31 Year Old Married, English Teacher Lauren Harrington-Cooper at Wyoming Valley West High School in PA Arrested & Charged with Institutional Sexual Assault
31 year old Lauren Harrington-Cooper, a married, English teacher at the Wyoming Valley West High School in Plymouth, Pennsylvania has been charged with institutional sexual assault for having sex with an unidentified 18 year old male senior. The parents of the alleged victim discovered their son had a “sexually explicit conversation” with a teacher after he borrowed his mother’s laptop and used the free texting website Pinger. Institutional sexual assault occurs when a school employees and volunteers, can be charged with the crime if they have sex or indecent contact with wards of the institutions or students at the school. Rather interesting that this can occur with two individuals of consenting age. Lauren Harrington-Cooper faces a possible prison sentence of seven years if convicted.
The age of the alleged victim, an unidentified male senior, was not included in arrest papers filed Thursday night. His age explains why the teacher was not charged with statutory sexual assault or corruption of minors.
A victim must be under 16 for statutory sexual assault and under 18 for corruption of minors, Roberts explained. The age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16, and a defendant charged with statutory sexual assault must be four or more years older than the victim.
Institutional sexual assault is a third-degree felony, Roberts said. Certain employees of specific institutions, such as school employees and volunteers, can be charged with the crime if they have sex or indecent contact with wards of the institutions or students at the school. The charge can result in a prison sentence of seven years.
The student’s parents went to the high school Thursday afternoon and told Principal Erin Keating they discovered inappropriate text messages between their son and a female teacher identified as Lauren, having Crohn’s disease, being a vegetarian and teaching eighth period in Room 401, which led school administration to identify the teacher as Harrington-Cooper.
According to the victim, his sister told him Harrington-Cooper texted her that her brother was “hot.” He said he got Harrington-Cooper’s cellphone number from his sister and later that day started texting her and they agreed to hang out, the complaint says.
The victim told police Harrington-Cooper would pick him up and she performed oral sex on him three times and that they had intercourse twice, according to the complaint.
Harrington-Cooper told investigators she began texting the student on Dec. 13 and knew he was a senior in high school. She allegedly admitted to having sexual relations with the student, all of which occurred in her vehicle, the complaint says.