• Cle Elum teacher arrested on child rape charges

    By: Elizabeth Kayser

    Updated:

    ELLENSBURG, Wash. - The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office arrested a 43-year-old Cle Elum woman Sept. 8 on charges of six counts of rape of a child in the third degree. Thorp School District confirmed to KIRO 7 that the woman involved, Jennifer Richter, and the 14-year-old boy are a teacher and former student, respectively.

    The district later received notification from the sheriff's office regarding an investigation into allegations of potential educator misconduct involving a former student. It is cooperating with law enforcement and has placed the staff member on leave pending an investigation. 

    A deputy was originally called to investigate a disabled vehicle at 10:17 a.m. on Sept. 8 in the area of Game Bird Loop off of Game Farm Road, near Ellensburg. The deputy found Richter and the boy from Ellensburg, both claiming to have parked in the area to talk when they discovered the car broken down. 

    While the deputy was giving a courtesy ride home to the juvenile, the deputy became concerned with the boy's demeanor and some comments that were made, investigators said. The deputy asked for clarification and the boy disclosed he and Richter had engaged in a sexual relationship, according to investigators.

    The deputy notified detectives, who started an investigation which led to the arrest of Richter for rape of a child. 

    Richter is awaiting her first court appearance. 

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