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February 5, 2015 at 6:07 PM

Highline School District teacher accused of raping former student

A sixth-grade teacher who won awards for her work at a SeaTac elementary school is accused of raping one of her former students over the course of several years.

Darcy M. Smith, 41, of Renton, was charged in King County Superior Court with three counts of third-degree rape of a child for allegedly having sex with her former McMicken Heights Elementary School student, starting when he was 14 years old. The former student is now 19.

According to court documents, the student moved into Smith’s home when he was her student after she and his mother agreed it would be a better environment for him, according to court documents. The student said he agreed to stay with Smith, her husband and children because he believed “she would put him on the right track.” The student told officers that for about a year, she would drink wine and become affectionate with him.

The student told officials that he and Smith started having sex when he was in the eighth grade and continued until 2012, according to court documents. The student reported the incidents to the King County Sheriff’s Office in May 2014.

Smith was previously named regional Teacher of the Year for King and Pierce counties and Bainbridge Island and received multiple Highline School District awards. She was called “truly exceptional in her practice” in an announcement after she won a Highline Schools Foundation Gold Star Award in 2012.

Smith was put on leave in August after the school district learned of an investigation by the sheriff’s office, district spokeswoman Catherine Carbone Rogers said Thursday afternoon. The district sent out a letter to parents of Smith’s students this week when charges were filed.

“That is our standard procedure any time we hear of allegations,” she said. “Our student safety is our utmost priority.”

A former Highline School District teacher, Mary Kay LeTourneau, pleaded guilty in 1997 to having sex with a teen who had been in her second and sixth-grade classes.

Comments | More in Education, The Blotter | Topics: Darcy M. Smith, Highline School District, SeaTac

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