VALPARAISO — Jury selection begins Tuesday in the trial of a 36-year-old Wheatfield woman charged with having sexual contact with a 17-year-old male student at the Hebron Christian Academy while she was serving as a substitute teacher.
Jennifer McLeod, who was 34 at the time of the alleged offense, was arrested on two felony counts of child seduction.
The student said the first "unusual" incident occurred in April 2015 when McLeod gave him a ride to a friend's house and pulled over along the way to show him a video about religion. McLeod then stated that she wished he was 18 because they could not have sex until that time, police said.
The boy, who was in the 11th grade, told police he did not know how to respond.
He said he began receiving text messages from McLeod, including one that read, "If I was in high school, you would be my boyfriend," police said.
On the last day of the school year in 2015, the boy said he was alone with McLeod when she asked to kiss him, according to charging information. He gave permission and the two reportedly kissed "romantically" for six to eight seconds.
He said McLeod made comments about his genitalia on another occasion during the school day and the two kissed once at her home.
Police said they were provided with a series of text messages between the two and were told the telephone calls — one lasting nearly four hours — were even more sexually explicit.
A fellow student reportedly told investigators that the alleged victim told him about the relationship with McLeod and that he once saw McLeod rubbing the boy's chest at school.
Police said they contacted McLeod about the allegations, but she never followed through with an interview.
The trial will take place before Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford.