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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  • by Ewww on Jun 24, 2009 at 03:44 AM
    Good Lord, was that kid blind or what? I know plenty of good looking teachers at school and she is NOT one of them!
  • by Drew Location: G-Ville on Jun 12, 2009 at 07:13 AM
    If she is 27, then I haven't been born yet. She looks like she is 45.
  • by Henry Shlonson Location: nc on Jun 11, 2009 at 07:27 PM
    I know several excellent teachers that are having a hard time finding work in this state, and as a result, are moving back up north. Meanwhile, garbage like this gets hired. Further proof that NC has no clue as to how to hire and retain teachers. The teachers I know, that when they did have a job, before budget cuts and everything else, were barely scraping by at like.. 25 grand a year. These are people with Masters' degrees that have years of experience, and are excellent. Now, they have no choice but to leave.
  • by Larry Location: Jacksonville on Jun 9, 2009 at 05:19 PM
    Another life ruined, another teacher gone, all because sex sells, just dont get caught doing it. But really, who really cares?
  • by curious Location: NC on Jun 8, 2009 at 03:23 PM
    Has anyone thought about the fact that as distasteful as this situation is, there are very specific laws about what kind of information a previous employer can and can not divulge? Blaming PCS or NHCS officials might make you feel good but their hands may have been tied in this matter. Research the law before throwing accusations.
  • by shygirl Location: G-Town on Jun 7, 2009 at 12:56 AM
    Let's just hope and pray that she wasn't teaching a sex education class.
  • by Ted Location: Greenville on Jun 6, 2009 at 12:28 PM
    There is a difference between boys and girls, it's just a fact of life. This teacher violated the law and will suffer the consequences, but this boy is hardly a victim. He is a hero to his friends and is at this very moment bragging to one of them about nailing the teacher. He feels bad that she's been arrested but he'll wear this as a badge of honor for the rest of his life. That's just the ugly truth of it.
  • by Mel Location: Goldsboro on Jun 5, 2009 at 05:03 PM
    Has anyone questioned whether the PCS application questions suspensions & firings and if so how did she answer? If she she answered YES then the fault is here in the systems process, is she answered NO then she is to blame alone. Did she apply to other systems and if so what did they ask and what did they find? I strongly believe both school systems did the best they could within limits of legal disclosure. Folks, like it or not, there is no cover up on either end. That isn't what our schools and administrators do. We are all simply (and firmly) stuck with a libel heavy legal system where a perpetrator can lie and cheat their way through the process, betraying the trust of every other person involved.
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Jun 5, 2009 at 05:01 PM
    It does not matter if the child was having a "great time".. Would you make the same comment had a grown man slept with a 15 yr. old girl??? What's the difference?? Would you claim that the girl had a good time? Some of you don't think..
  • by Anonymous on Jun 5, 2009 at 04:37 PM
    Hey jojo, I bet the youngen WAS HAVING A GREAT TIME!!!!!!

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