GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A Grand Rapids Public Schools teacher admitted to having sex with two of her male students, according to court documents.
Four charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct have been authorized against Jamila Love Williams. Grand Rapids Police said they are currently working with Williams' attorney to arrange a time to turn herself in.
The Grand Rapids Police Department Detective Unit received information Monday about the alleged case. Investigators coordinated with GRPS personnel, and identified and interviewed two of the known victims, according to a news release.
Court documents show the victims said they had had sex with Williams several times over a period of months between March 1 and June 1. The incidents happened at various places, according to documents, including in a car in an alley, and in a park.
The male victims, ages 15 and 16, are students in Williams' classes at Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy, 111 College Ave. NE in Grand Rapids.
On Tuesday, detectives presented their investigation to the Kent County Prosecutor's Office for review. The four counts were then authorized against the teacher.
Sherwood Park Global Studies Academy paraprofessional Kevin Dengel also faces sex assault charges in an unrelated incident. He has been charged with three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim between the ages of 13 and 16.
Paul Helder, the president of the Grand Rapids Education Association, would not comment on the specific allegations against Williams or Dengel. But he did say that GRPS did the right thing in removing Williams once the allegations came to light, saying the safety of the students is paramount.
"If, in fact, this individual is guilty, then I don't care what their job is. I don't care if they're a youth advocate, a parapro, a teacher, an administrator, whatever. You know, kids needs to be safe at school and if, in fact, either of these individuals are guilty, they need to be punished," Helder said. "If, on the other hand, it turns out that one or the other or both are innocent, I would hope that would be the end of it."
He went on to explain that initial attorney fees, a few hundred dollars, are paid for union members dealing with criminal charges, but the union does not participate in criminal cases beyond that point.
"There's a misconception that's out there that unions exist to protect bad employees," said Helder. "What we want is a fair, objective, transparent process to determine guilt and innocence; to figure out what's going on with regular workplace issues. In this case, what we're talking about isn't a regular work place issue, it's a criminal matter. What we want is a process that's fair and reasonable, we have that through the legal system in the legal process and we're content to let that process play out."
The Grand Rapids Police Department Family Services Team is investigating whether there are additional victims. If you know more information about this case then you are asked to call GRPD at 616.456.3604 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
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