Police: Former substitute teacher groomed, raped 14-year-old student

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 6:28 PM EDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV/Gray News) - A former substitute teacher in a Missouri school district is accused of raping a student and threatening her if she told anyone about it, according to authorities.

KMOV reports 30-year-old Brandon Holbrook was charged with three counts of statutory rape and six counts of statutory sodomy.

Authorities said Holbrook first met the 14-year-old victim at Bernard Middle School, one of the schools where he was subbing. He started grooming the victim through social media platforms and exchanging messages and pictures with her in May, police allege. Police said Holbrook raped the girl while at her home on three separate occasions and made veiled threats against the victim if she told anyone.

Police do not know how many districts Holbrook worked for as a substitute teacher, and believe there may be more victims. Anyone with information about any additional victims is asked to call St. Louis County police.

The Mehlville School District sent a letter home to parents about the accusations against Holbrook.

In the letter, the district’s superintendent said Holbrook was made inactive on the substitute roster as of Sept. 12 in the wake of the accusations.

He also said he believed in the importance of communicating “openly with our families” and that the Melville District schools “are places where students should always feel safe” so allegations of staff misconduct are taken “very seriously.”