A 26-year-old teacher at a Wilmington school has been charged with raping a student, New Castle County police announced late Friday afternoon.
James L. Garfield, who taught at High Road School of Delaware, was arrested Friday at his Elsmere-area home and charged with two counts of third-degree rape with a victim under the age of 16.
The school at 1200 N. French St. helps students with significant behavioral and learning issues.
“When school officials were made aware of the now suspended employee’s arrest, we immediately notified families and our partner school districts,” said Jennifer Leckstrom, a spokeswoman for the school. “We are cooperating fully with the New Castle County Police Department as their investigation continues.”
Garfield, who’d been teaching there for two years, was suspended “immediately” after school leadership was told of the arrest, Leckstrom said.
The investigation began on Monday when the 15-year-old student reported they were “having a sexual relationship with their teacher ‘Mr. James,'” according to Master Cpl. Michel Eckerd, a police spokesman.
Garfield was identified by detectives as the teacher and the student positively identified him, Eckerd said. Evidence was recovered to corroborate the student’s claims.
Garfield was arrested at his home Friday. In addition to the rape charges, he has also been charged with two counts of felony sexual abuse of a child by a person of trust. He was being held Friday afternoon at Howard R. Young Correctional Institution after failing to post $200,000 cash bail.
“Based on this investigation,” Eckerd said, “the division is concerned there may be additional victims who have not yet come forward.”
Detectives are asking anyone with any information about this investigation or Garfield to contact Detective Alex Laux at (302) 395-2756 or via email Alex.Laux@newcastlede.gov or call the New Castle County police’s non-emergency number at (302) 573-2800.
High Road School, which opened in 2004, says on its website that it has an excellent relationship with other school districts and a “great success rate of transitioning our students back to their comprehensive setting.”