Brandi Whitaker

Brandi Lynn Whitaker, 24, the former Madison Southern High School teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student last summer, is scheduled to go on trial April 14.

Madison Circuit Judge William G. Clouse set the trial date during a pre-trial conference Thursday.

Whitaker who taught science at the high school is facing charges of third-degree rape, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of third-degree sodomy, use of an electronic communications to procure sex with a minor and evidence tampering.

The charges are all Class D felonies, each of which can draw a sentence of one to five years in prison.

Arrested Aug. 25, Whitaker has been free on bail since Aug. 27.

When confronted by investigators, Whitaker confessed to twice having sexual encounters with a male student, 16, according to a Berea Police Department news release. One incident took place at a state park, while the other took place at the married teacher’s home.

In Madison District Court on Sept. 2, Whitaker waived her right to a preliminary hearing. Her attorney, James Baechtold, said the victim’s father was present and wanted the charges dropped. However, Judge Earl-Ray Neal referred them for grand jury review.

After a Madison County grand jury reviewed the evidence in early October, it added evidence tampering and electronic procurement to the original charges of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse.

According to Whitaker’s LinkedIn profile, she previously had been a program associate and administrative assistant at Berea College as well as a volunteer youth worker for more than three years at Berea Baptist Church.

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