A former Shawnee Mission West High School teacher is accused of having sex with students.
The Johnson County District Attorney's Office charged Michelle Preston, 27, with three counts of having unlawful sexual relations. She faces up to 30 years in prison.
Preston is accused of having consensual sex with three students, according to an announcement made Monday. The acts allegedly occurred between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2010, according to court documents.
District Attorney Steve Howe said Preston violated the trust of her students even if the relationship was consensual and they were legally of age.
"That's why we developed this statute because of the power differential between a teacher and a student," Howe said. "That is the reason for the statute to cover ages 16 to 18 years old when they are still students and have unlawful sex with a teacher."
Preston's contract was not renewed last spring by the Shawnee Mission School District after she was placed on administrative leave in March.
Preston was the freshman cheerleading coach. She also taught psychology and world geography.
Preston was involved in a serious one-car crash in Miami County immediately after the criminal inquiry began earlier this year.
The district said Preston had acted inappropriately with students. She was an employee of the district for three years. The district contacted police after receiving allegations about Preston's contact with students.
Preston was released on bond. She faces a court appearance next week.
When contacted at her Lenexa home by KCTV5 earlier this year, Preston declined comment on the allegations. Neither Preston nor her attorney could not be reached for comment Monday.
Preston grew up in Lansing and graduated from Lansing High School. Her district bio had said she was married to a 2002 Shawnee Mission West graduate.
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