Wishnask faces additional charges

Published: Jun. 4, 2009 at 8:13 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 5, 2009 at 12:15 PM EDT
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Source: WPD
Source: WPD
Source: WPD
Source: WPD
Source: NHCSO
Source: NHCSO

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A teacher accused of having indecent liberties with a minor is now facing additional charges.

27-year-old Jessica Wishnask was arrested in Martin County Thursday morning where she was charged with statutory rape and dissemination of harmful material.

Officials would not say whether the new charges relate to conduct that predates or includes the arrest on May 23, 2009.

Authorities say they have no reason to believe Wishnask was involved with any other minors.

"Right now our investigation reveals one defendant and one victim, and we are going to look at the multiple places this occurred to make sure that we get a full picture of what happened," said District Attorney Ben David.

Investigators are searching Wishnask's computer for evidence of any online forms of communication.

They are also working with authorities in other jurisdictions where they say Wishnask took the boy during their relationship.  According to prosecutor Lance Oehrlein, the DA's Office is looking into kidnapping charges for taking the teen across state lines.

Police wouldn't say how long Wishnask and the teenager were involved, but they did say they had enough evidence to support more charges.

"Our detectives have done a great job and you'll see when some of this evidence come out in court," said Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous. "They've really done a detailed, thorough investigation involving this."

Wishnask made her first appearance in District Court in New Hanover County Thursday afternoon.

The teacher was suspended from Williston Middle School twice toward the end of 2008.  Wishnask then left New Hanover County and became a teacher in Pitt County.

Last month, she resigned from Pactolus Elementary School in Pitt County after being arrested in Wilmington and charged with indecent liberties with a 15-year-old boy.

The NHC School Board is expected to provide a statement Friday with information regarding her two suspensions from Williston.

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