Mesa High teacher and coach arrested in sex case - East Valley Tribune: News

Mesa High teacher and coach arrested in sex case

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Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 5:49 am

Mesa High School teacher and softball coach Gay Lyn Turley was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of having a four-year sexual relationship with a teenage girl that began when the teen was her student.

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The arrest of Turley, 42, by Gilbert police came just hours after the last class of the semester was let out at the high school. She has been the softball coach at Mesa High since 1989.

Turley was arrested on suspicion of sexual contact with a minor.

And it came two days after the victim, now 20, first told police about the lengthy relationship.

Police spokesman Sgt. Mark Marino said when Turley was questioned, she admitted the allegations were true.

Turley, who lives in Gilbert, could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.

The relationship first began in 2003, when the girl, whose name was not released, was 16 and a student at the high school, according to police.

She started staying overnight at Turley’s house in May of that year, and the relationship eventually became sexual, Marino said. At 18, the relationship grew as the girl moved in with Turley.

Things apparently soured between the two women sometime this year when, according to police, the girl moved out of Turley’s home.

Kathy Bareiss, spokeswoman for the Mesa Unified School District, said school officials were only told about the investigation Wednesday. It appears Turley was still teaching even while police were investigating her, Bareiss said.

Bareiss said the district plans to conduct an inquiry and assist police officers with their investigation.

“We have a due process,” she said. “We’re trying to be fair to everybody.”

If it turns out Turley broke the law or district policy, she will be fired, Bareiss said. If the investigations are not over when the next semester starts on Jan. 3, Turley will be placed on paid leave, she said.

According to the school’s Web site, Turley taught six physical education and sports classes during the fall semester and is scheduled to teach six more in the spring.

Marino said police are concerned there may be other victims and asked anyone with information to call them at (480) 503-6500.

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