Teacher accused of raping student held on $500,000 cash bond - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Teacher accused of raping student held on $500,000 cash bond

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The former Axtell Park Middle School teacher who allegedly raped a former student was in a Minnehaha County court briefly today.

Tonya Marie Drueppel, 33, faces three counts of fourth degree rape and two counts of sexual contact with a child under 16. The judge kept her bond at $500,000.

She was also provided an attorney during her court appearance today.

Drueppel resigned from the school district in May of 2013. She was a teacher at Axtell Park Middle School.

The investigation began on January 22, when police received a referral from the Department of Social Services about a 14-year-old girl who was having some type of relationship with Drueppel.

It is believed this relationship began in 2012.

The affidavit filed with the Sioux Falls Police Department says the victim told officers her relationship with Drueppel was physical between October 2012 and December 2012.

The affidavit describes several alleged encounters between Drueppel and the victim, the most recent on January 24. It says that officers found the victim and Drueppel together then at the Nites Inn in Sioux Falls. The victim hadn't shown up for school that day, and Drueppel had called in sick from her job at Tea Tots daycare.

The affidavit said that when officers entered the hotel room, Drueppel was trying to hang herself with an electrical chord in the bathroom.

She was taken into custody and transported to the Law Enforcement Center where she was interviewed by officers.

When Drueppel was taken in for questioning is when she confirmed that she had a relationship with her former student. She also stated they were a support system for one another.

Stay with KSFY News and KSFY.com for updates on this story.

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