TALLMADGE — After years of denying anything sexual was going on between him and the Akron Public School teacher he lived with, it was a tape recorded confession which unwound the affair which produced a child and ended with the teacher being charged with three counts of sexual battery.
Laura Lynn Cross, 36, was arrested Aug. 9 by members of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office following a secret indictment on three counts of felony sexual battery involving a relationship with a former student. Each count is a third-degree felony.
An attorney for Cross could not be found listed in court records.
The former student is now 19. Cross was being held in the Summit County Jail as of Aug. 15 on a $100,000 bond.
Mark Williamson, director of communications for Akron Public Schools, said Cross began working at Akron Butchel High School in 2008. The English teacher resigned in 2015.
Willaimson said the district is investigating the situation, but has found nothing to substantiate claims that the alleged affair was reported to other teachers at Buchtel.
“It was not officially brought to our attention by the father to investigate,” Williamson said. “But we are not done. We are still looking at everything that might have come in.”
According to Tallmadge Police Chief Ronald Willams, the student’s parents had suspected there was some type of inappropriate relationship between the teacher and their son.
However, police did not have enough evidence to make an arrest until the recent audio recording, which contained the now 19-year-old man’s confession to his father. The confession was made after the father found out his son and his former teacher had a baby which was put up for adoption. The dad asked his son for the truth and recorded it, then passed it on to police.
The parents had alleged an affair began between the teacher and ther son around 2015.
However, during that time the parents allowed Cross to file for custody and move him from Akron to her Tallmadge home, Williams said.
“She kind of took him under her wing and thought he had a better opportunity over here [in Tallmadge].” Williams said. “She moves him into the house somewhere around 2014 and actually went to court and got custody of him in 2014 or 2015.”
According to Williams, the relationship moved from teacher and student to an adult relationship.
“In December of 2015 she [Cross] had a child by this young man,” Williams added.
In June of 2015 the mother became suspicious after she found some texts that were left on her phone by her son. His phone was not working so he borrowed hers and did not remove the texts, which were not sexual in nature or explicit but seemed to be the kind of things lovers would text each other, not a son and teacher, Williams said.
“There was not anything that would allow us to make a case,” Williams said. “And they both denied it and had stories that explained the texts.”
“When we had been getting these allegations of the sexual relationship, we did investigate and questioned both of them [Cross and the student],” Williams said. “Neither one of them at the time was willing to come clean on the story. They explained everything away. They were deceptive with us and we were not able to prove there was a sexual relationship so the case became inactive.”
In June of this year, things changed, Williams saud.
“The father of the juvenile was made aware of the baby. He confronted his son and tape recorded it,” Williams said. “And the son was honest with him, or relatively honest with him, and told him they had been having an affair for two years and that they actually had been involved and they had the kid.”
With the recording, police had physical evidence enough to charge Cross, the chief said.
“We took the case to the grand jury. The grand jury indicted her on three counts of sexual battery,” Williams said.
Police are still investigating, according to Williams.