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Capital High teacher charged with sexually abusing student

CHARLESTON, W.Va. --  A Capital High School teacher who allegedly sexually abused a 16-year-old male student was arrested on Tuesday.

Michelle Elaine Ball, 30, of St. Albans, was charged with first-degree sexual abuse, a felony.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, the two met at Capital High, where Ball is a teacher. She teaches Spanish 1 at the school, according to Capital High's website.

The teenager said Ball began taking him to restaurants and movies around Charleston and St. Albans in January, according to the complaint. He told police that he and Ball often smoked marijuana together, which she provided. Ball also took the alleged victim on at least one trip to Ohio where they shopped at local malls.

Sometime in late June or early July, the relationship turned sexual in nature, according to the complaint. On one occasion, Ball and the teen allegedly had been drinking at her house in St. Albans and had sexual contact in her shower.

On another occasion, Ball drove to the teen's house in Charleston where they drank alcohol, and then rented a room at the Knights Inn on MacCorkle Avenue Southeast. The teen told police that Ball undressed him and they lay on the bed, but did not have sexual contact.

Ball was being held Tuesday night in South Central Regional Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bail.

Kanawha County Board of Education President Pete Thaw said Tuesday evening that he could not recall dealing with "a teacher and student becoming sexually involved" in his years with the school system.

"All I know is there's a problem over there [at Capital] with a teacher and a student, and the administration is totally on it," Thaw said. "I do not doubt that this teacher contributed to the delinquency of this student."

Capital High and other Kanawha County school officials could not be reached for comment late Tuesday afternoon.

Staff writer Mackenzie Mays contributed to this report. Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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