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Brunswick Co. teacher charged with sex with student

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office arrested a teacher at Brunswick County Academy for sex crimes against a student. Leah Gayle Shipman, 39, of Leland is charged with sexual offense with a student, statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a student.

Investigators say the victim was 15 years old at the time of the crime.

In an e-mailed statement, superintendent Katie McGee said Shipman has been suspended from her job. McGee released Shipman's employment history with the district, which shows Shipman started as a transitional curriculum teacher at Brunswick County Academy in August 2008. She has worked in various positions, including substitute teacher, teacher assistant and secretary at Lincoln and Belville Elementary Schools since 2001.

McGee said the district is cooperating with the Sheriff's Office, but because of the investigation and privacy laws, she said the district would not say more.

Shipman is in the Brunswick County Jail under $100,000 bond.

She's now a part of a troubling history for the school district. West Brunswick teacher and coach David Arrowood was arrested for having sex with a student in 2006. A year later South Brunswick High School janitor Collis Hewett was arrested for molesting a special needs student.

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