Bond raised to $2 million for teacher

July 6, 2009 5:15:45 PM PDT
In an investigation that's starting to draw comparisons to the Mary Kay Letourneau case, a Durham, North Carolina teacher has once again been arrested for allegedly making contact with a 10-year-old boy she's accused of having sex with.A judge on Monday increased her bond to $2 million.

Gina Marie Watring, 40, was first charged back in April with the rape of a child, first-degree kidnapping, and felony child abduction.

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Watring worked at Creekside Elementary School in Durham as a teacher's aide. The victim is a student at the school.

Click here for photos of the teacher and the school

According to an affidavit for a search warrant, the boy told Durham County Sheriff's Office investigators that he and Watring had intercourse twice at her home.

In the original case, investigators said Watring gave the boy a cell phone so they could exchange text messages. Now, she's accused of doing the same thing again.

Assistant District Attorney Jan Paul said Monday that the boy's parents discovered Watring left handwritten notes and a new cell phone at a stop sign in the boy’s neighborhood so he could find them and they could communicate.

When the boy’s mother discovered the new phone in his backpack, she confronted her son.

Paul said the boy's reaction was very violent. He hit his mother, threatened her with a knife and hammer, then kicked out the bedroom window and attempted to run away. His reaction was so extreme, the parents considered voluntary commitment.

The parents searched the boy’s room and found two handwritten notes. There are also voicemail messages on the cell phone that the mother listened to.

The parents contacted police, and Watring was rearrested on obstruction of justice charges over the weekend.

Detectives have obtained a search warrant for the cell phone.

Prosecutors say the boy’s parents believe the former teacher has been in contact with their son since she was released in late April. She allegedly told the boy that her husband was mad at her and she missed him.

According to the child’s therapist, Watring has caused emotional damage. Paul said the therapist has told the DA’s Office that every step should be taken to prevent the former teacher from contacting the boy.

In court Monday

In court Monday, the judge was given copies of the alleged handwritten "love messages" between Watring and the boy that the parents found in his room.

Watring’s attorney asked the judge to keep her bond at $100,000 - allowing her to bond out and go to California to live with her stepfather and other relatives.

Prosecutors asked that her bond be revoked - citing the emotional harm she's allegedly done to the boy.

The judge instead set her bond at $2 million.

Her attorney said it’s unlikely Watring’s family can raise that amount at this time.

Watring was not in court for Monday's hearing. The next hearing in her case is set for July 15.

Investigators look into Watring's record

Investigators are now pouring through all the information they can find on Watring's history and background. They're checking previous places of employment to find out if she’s had similar issues in other states or jobs.

Original arrest

According to search warrants in the case, school administrators first became suspicious of Watring - who taught drama and dance at the school - after intercepting a note written by the boy.

"Gina, I love you so much babe. I’m so lucky to have you. I’m glad you feel the same way. I want to be with you forever. I’d never do anything to hurt u," it read.

Also according to the warrants, school officials contacted the boy's mother about the note who said Watring and the child had been communicating with each other via text message, and she had asked that the relationship stop because she thought it was inappropriate.

Investigating further, officials said they found a cell phone in the child's possession, and text messages between him and Watring.

During questioning by detectives, the boy told them that he was in love with Watring and that they had had sex on two separate occasions in her home.

After her first arrest, an attorney temporarily representing Watring told Eyewitness News that she is innocent and that the case stems from "the infatuation of a 10-year-old boy."


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