A Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25 teacher faces up to life in prison after being charged with multiple sex crimes against a child.
Tiffany Marie Petersen, 46, of Pocatello, has been charged with one count of lewd conduct against a child and one count of rape of a child under the age of 16, both felonies.
Petersen is a teacher at Syringa Elementary School in Pocatello. Each of the felony charges has a maximum penalty of life in prison if she is convicted.
Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 announced via a Friday news release that it placed a teacher on administrative leave effective Thursday. The School District did not name the teacher in its news release but Bannock County authorities subsequently confirmed that Petersen is the teacher.
She will remain on administrative leave until further notice, school district officials said.
“This is a decision that was in the best interest of our students and the district,” said Douglas Howell, School District 25 superintendent. “As a public school district, we accept the responsibility to protect the safety and well-being of our students and staff in a positive learning environment. This is an obligation that we take very seriously, and one that prompts us to take swift, consistent action when necessary.”
Petersen was indicted on the sex crimes charges by a Bannock County grand jury on Wednesday and arrested by Pocatello police officers later that day.
Petersen was released on her own recognizance pending a Tuesday court hearing at the Bannock County Courthouse in Pocatello.
Authorities have not released any additional details about the crimes she has been accused of committing and all court documents in the case have been sealed.