Missouri Teacher, 24, Accused of Grooming Student, 16, Over Snapchat

suspect Rikki Lynn Laughlin
Maries County Sheriff's Office

A 24-year-old Missouri teacher is facing child sex abuse charges after allegedly trading x-rated images and videos with a 16-year-old student in an attempt to lure him for sex while her husband was away.

St. James High School teacher Rikki Lynn Laughlin is being held on a $100,000 bond after the teen boy accused her of soliciting nude pictures of him as well as sending explicit content of herself, including a video of her using a dildo, via Snapchat. 

The Riverfront Times reported that the student told police that “things progressed fast” after the exchange and said that he and Laughlin had kissed. At 16 years old, the boy is a year below the age of consent in Missouri.

Laughlin allegedly asked him to come to her home to have sex while her husband was not there, according to a probable cause statement from the Maries County Sheriff’s Office.

However, the student told police that he “made excuses” for not taking her up on the inappropriate offer because he felt uncomfortable.

The teen told police that Laughlin warned him that she could potentially go to jail if he did not delete the nude content she allegedly sent, but he kept some and showed investigators. 

The investigation was initially launched after police received an October 19 tip from a Phelps County detective regarding an illegal teacher-student relationship, KSDK reported.

Laughlin was then interviewed by a police detective. She admitted that she had contacted the teen on Snapchat but claimed he started the conversation and that she had not been “aware” he was a minor until the day before the interview.

In a search of the teacher’s phone, detectives found an “illicit video similar to what the student had described,” the New York Post reported.

Laughlin was charged with possession of child porn, tampering with a victim, attempted statutory rape, sexual exploitation of a minor, tampering with physical evidence and sexual trafficking of a child, along with one misdemeanor count of furnishing pornographic materials to minors, according to reports.

School district Superintendent Tim Webster confirmed to KSDK that a teacher was “immediately escorted from school property and placed on leave pending investigation” but refrained from naming Laughlin explicitly.

“The District takes these matters seriously and reported allegations to appropriate outside agencies, including law enforcement. Our top priority remains the safety and well-being of our students, and we do not tolerate any policy or law violations within our educational community,” Webster said.

Laughlin is due to make a court appearance on November 20.


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