Teacher/student sex laws concern legislator

Joshua Clark enters the Wells County Courthouse for his initial court appearance on August 28, 2014.

BLUFFTON, Ind. (WANE) – The case of the Bluffton High School teacher charged with having sexual relations with a student has stirred up concerns for an Indiana lawmaker. Joshua Clark allegedly admitted to sexual activity on school property with a female student when she was both 17 and 18-years-old.  Once the student turned 18 the act became perfectly legal, which has caused a state senator to consider changing the law.

Indiana State Senator Travis Holdman (R-Markle) represents Wells County and used to be a school board attorney.  He said regardless of age, a new law that criminalizes sexual relations on school property is worth looking into.

“You have two consenting adults. The issue has to do with the location where that act is played out and I think that may be more the issue,” Holdman said. “I think we need to take a look at it. I think it’s something we need to study. Perhaps we need to talk with our local school boards, our superintendents, ask them if they believe this is a prevalent type of issue that is going on.”

Clark, 39, was charged with child seduction, a class C felony. According to the police report, he admitted to receiving oral sex from the student a month before her 18th birthday.

The alleged sexual activity is already against school policy.  Clark (a former math teacher, assistant football coach, and assistant track coach) has resigned.

News that sexual relations between the teacher and 18-year-old student are legal on school property came as a surprise to many, including Bluffton Police Chief Nathan Huss.

“With a relationship between a teacher and student that to me doesn’t seem right,” Huss said. “But just because it doesn’t seem right to me doesn’t mean it’s against the law.”

Clark appeared in court Thursday for his initial hearing. The judge ordered him to have no contact with the student involved.


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