A Tacoma teacher accused of having sex with a 12-year-old sixth-grader five years ago pleaded not guilty Friday to five counts of second-degree child rape.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Vicki Hogan set bail at $75,000 for 33-year-old Keshia Shaw of Puyallup, a science and math teacher at Gray Middle School.
The judge ordered that if Shaw posts bail and is released from jail, she is to have no contact with her alleged victim or with any minors, with the exception of her daughters, ages 6 and 8.
Shaw was also ordered to stay off school grounds and playgrounds, and can only travel between Pierce, King, Thurston and Kitsap counties.
Shaw was taken into custody following her arraignment. A trial date was set for Aug. 30.
She remains on paid administrative leave from the Tacoma School District, where she worked as a substitute starting in 2002 and full-time teacher at Gray since 2005. Her annual salary is $58,584.
Shaw was placed on leave May 7. Tacoma Public Schools spokesman Dan Voelpel explained that she’s currently being paid for time worked during the school year. Teachers typically work during the school year, but are paid proportionally throughout the calendar year including summer break.
Prosecutors allege Shaw had sex with the boy when she was his sixth-grade teacher. The abuse is alleged to have begun in April 2007.
It allegedly took place both at school and in the boy’s bedroom at home while his mother was at work.
Two final sexual encounters allegedly happened when the boy was in eighth grade after he left Gray, ran away from home and returned to visit friends at his old school.
Shaw’s attorney, Mike Kelly, said after court proceedings Friday that he could not discuss the allegations.
“We entered pleas of not guilty, and we believe in those pleas,” he said.
The boy, now 17, came forward with the accusations after listening to a church sermon on sexual abuse, according to Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. After hearing the sermon, he told his mother, who then told a family friend. That friend informed authorities.
According to prosecutors, the first incident occurred when the student was re-taking a test alone in Shaw’s classroom. Charging documents allege that she wore a short dress and sat facing the boy, who could see she was not wearing underwear. She took the boy to a room adjoining her classroom, where they engaged in sexual activity, documents say.
Prosecutors contend Shaw initiated other sexual encounters with the boy and warned him not to tell anyone about them.
Authorities said Friday they were not aware of any other potential victims coming forward.
The News Tribune has requested Shaw’s personnel records, but the school district said it could not release them until its own investigation is complete.debbie.cafazzo@ thenewstribune.com 253-597-8635