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Info Released In Case Of Teacher Facing Rape Charge

Jessica Bailey Wishnask, a former Pitt County teacher who resigned last week after her arrest in Wilmington, remains in the New Hanover County jail after being arrested on new charges.

She is now charged with statutory rape and disseminating harmful material to a minor. Wishnask is being held on a $125,000 bond.

The New Hanover County Board of Education met for several hours Friday before releasing information from Wishnask's file during her time as teacher in Wilmington.

She was suspended twice while teaching there. According to school officials say Wishnask was observed in a locked classroom with a student but was not accused of a crime nor did an investigation reveal illegal contact.

Reports indicate the teen in the rape case is the same teen as involved in the previous incidents.

According to online records, Wishnask was scheduled to appear in New Hanover County district court Friday on the new charges. The clerk's office tells WITN News Wishnask made a first appearance Thursday and is next scheduled to appear in court on those charges on June 18.

Online records show another court date of June 11 is scheduled for the previous felony charge of indecent liberties with a minor.

After resigning from the New Hanover County school system at the end of 2008, Wishnask got a job teaching in Pitt County in February. She resigned last week after her arrest.


Reports indicate Wishnask's latest arrest took place in Eastern Carolina, in Martin County where she lives.

Wishnask was first charged with indecent liberties with a minor after police say in the early morning of May 23 a patrol officer spotted a suspicious vehicle on North 5th Avenue. The officer said as he approached the car, he saw the seats were down and discovered a 27-year-old woman in intimate contact with a 15-year-old boy.

That boy is reportedly from Wilmington, where Wishnask previously worked as a teacher. She was suspended twice during her time with the New Hanover County School District. The first time was in October 2008, for three days. The second time was in November 2008, and her suspension lasted until she resigned December 31, 2008. New Hanover County school officials would not tell WITN the reason for her suspensions.

Pitt County Schools spokeswoman Heather Mayo said Wishnask began teaching in Pitt County on February 2, 2009. She was an 8th grade English language arts teacher at Pactolus Elementary School until her resignation last week.

Mayo told reporters all pre-employment checks on Wishnask were completed and did not show an issue.


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