MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Investigators say a Memphis high school teacher admitted to sleeping in the same bed with, and kissing, a 17-year-old male student, but says she never had sex with him.
34-year-old April Wade, a Spanish teacher at Sheffield High School, made her first appearance in Shelby County Court on Monday, October 24, 2011. She's charged with statutory rape.
Wade's neighbor, Chris Bailey, says he's seen a few young men helping Wade in her front yard. He never thought anything of it.
"There have been a lot of guys over there," he tells abc24.com, "but I thought they were kids. You weren't thinking she was messing with them. Sometimes you see a black guy out there, sometimes it's a hispanic guy. I never did know how old they were. It never even crossed my mind. When you hear somebody's a school teacher, you never think they would do something like that."
According to police records, investigators were called to the school on Friday, October 21st, to respond to a complaint of criminal assault. The victim was a 17-year-old male student. He told investigators he'd been living with Wade for nearly a year and had been having a sexual relationship with her the entire time.
When Wade was questioned, she told investigators the teen did live with her and the two shared the same bed, but says all they did was kiss.
As a neighbor and parent of two teen boys, Bailey's uncomfortable with the whole situation.
"It makes me want to go up to the school and interview all the teachers up there," he tells abc24.com.
Memphis City Schools released a statement:
"We are aware of the allegations against the teacher at Sheffield High School. Out of respect for her constitutional right to due process and on the advice of counsel, we will not comment on the particular allegations at this time."
Wade has been a full time employee of MCS since 2008. She is suspended without pay.