Months after finalizing a divorce and settling child support with her husband, a 36-year-old Idaho high school teacher was busted for allegedly having sex with a teen boy after police found him at the wheel of her car when she was “too drunk to drive.”
Jessica Lawson now faces two felony counts of rape of a 16- or 17-year-old victim, another felony charge for delivering a controlled substance and a misdemeanor for dispensing alcohol to a minor, per Fremont County Magistrate Court records.
An officer from the St. Anthony Police Department pulled Lawson’s car over for driving with no visible taillights in the wee hours of Nov. 6, according to the East Idaho News.
But Lawson was not in the car, police said. Instead, a teen boy was behind the wheel, and told the officer that the older woman let him drive “due to her being too drunk to drive,” according to court documents reviewed by the news outlet before they were sealed by the court.
The teen, who also said he smoked marijuana before driving the car, was allegedly driven home by the police officer.
Later that day, the boy’s parents called the officer back to inform him their son allegedly confessed that Lawson had picked him up around 11 p.m. the night before and taken him to her St. Anthony home, according to court documents.
The boy told his parents that the teacher got drunk and high before they eventually had sex.
Before the parents called the officer, Lawson allegedly called the boy’s mother and admitted that she had given her son alcohol. She also admitted that there was marijuana in her house while he was there, but claimed that the boy didn’t smoke and denied that “anything else had occurred.”
A warrant was issued for Lawson’s arrest on Nov. 13, per court documents reviewed by Fox News Digital, and a no-contact order was issued on the victim’s behalf.
It is unclear whether the teacher, who taught at South Fremont High School between August 2021 and June 2023, ever taught the boy before the incident.
Fox News Digital could not reach the school for comment — it is unclear why her employment there ended.
According to Fremont County Magistrate Court filings reviewed by Fox News Digital, Lawson’s divorce from her husband and child custody agreement for their multiple minor children were finalized in May. Lawson apparently retained her ex-husband’s surname.
In February of this year, about a month after divorce proceedings began, Lawson posted a passage from a book about “occasions where placing an out-of-order sign across your heart seemed the wisest decision to make” but “you didn’t.”
“Instead you kept your heart open, invited people in,” the passage read. “And even when they were reckless, messy, and selfish, you chose to remain open… I am in awe of you: an open prairie among an ever-changing cycle of wind.”
Lawson is currently incarcerated at the Madison County Jail on a $250,000 bond. The former teacher could face life behind bars if she is convicted on all counts.
The former teacher’s attorney, Allen Harry Browning, told Fox News Digital the prescribed bail amount was “excessive,” and that a bond reduction hearing was imminent.
“I haven’t seen bond that high on anyone but either a murder suspect or an international drug cartel person — $250,000 is something you don’t see unless somebody’s potentially a danger to the community and this person doesn’t pose a danger to anybody,” Browning said Thursday. “I’ve been doing this for 42 years now, and I’ve never seen a bond this high for a man or woman in a similar case.”
“You don’t get a bond that high for a violent rape at knifepoint,” Browning added.
Lawson, he said, intends to plead not guilty. Her preliminary court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 27, according to online records.