Kristen Gantt, Dowling High School English Teacher Arrested for Alleged Sexual Exploitation of 17-Year-Old Student



In a shocking case of alleged misconduct, a teacher at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, Iowa has been arrested for an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student in her class. 36-year-old Kristen Gantt, an English teacher at the school, was arrested on two counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee.

According to authorities, Gantt engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with the student which involved physical intimacy on at least five different occasions in February and March of this year. The incidents occurred in Gantt’s classroom after the school day had ended.

During the investigation, police obtained communications between Gantt and the student on email and Instagram, which appeared to be personal and flirtatious in nature. Some of these conversations on Instagram included messages in which they both commented on each other’s appearances and made plans to spend time together outside of school.

In an interview with the student, investigators read some of the emails that included emojis that could be perceived as sexual innuendos. According to the warrant, the student told police Gantt reached out “to provide support” as he struggled with family issues at home.

While the student denied having a physical relationship with Gantt and denied having contact with her outside of school, criminal complaints state that the messages showed “clear and concise grooming activity.” Conversations that took place through their private email accounts contained “more direct sexual overtones.”

The school administration supplied police with surveillance footage that appeared to show Gantt and the student in her classroom alone behind a locked door. The window on the door is shown to be covered up by a piece of paper, according to the warrant.

Gantt was immediately placed on leave once the school learned of the allegations. She has since been terminated from her position at Dowling Catholic High School.

In court, Gantt admitted to having sexual contact with the student on at least five different occasions, according to a criminal complaint. Gantt faces two counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee and could face significant prison time and a permanent criminal record if convicted.

The case serves as a reminder of the importance of appropriate boundaries between teachers and students and the severe consequences of violating those boundaries. The investigation is ongoing, and it is not immediately clear if Gantt has retained a lawyer.

Last Known Contact Information

Address: 2506 40th Pl. Des Moines, IA 50310
Phone: 707-592-3248
Email: rkristen.gantta81@gmail.com

Arrest Information

Inmate Number: 0005554

Court Information

Case: 05771 FECR369160

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