A California woman was arrested Monday because officials say she had sex with a 14-year-old student while she chaperoned his eighth-grade class trip to Washington, D.C., this spring.
Jacqueline Nicole Muller, 26, was charged with first-degree child sexual abuse after she had sex with a male student at a hotel in D.C. on May 9, charging documents say. Investigators say they found extensive text messages between Muller and the teenage boy.
Muller is accused of having sex with the teen at the Hyatt Place Washington DC on E Street SW, blocks south of the National Mall. She was his teacher at Salem Lutheran School in Glendale, California, court documents say.
The teen told police that he and the teacher began communicating through Instagram in March. Initially, they talked about photography and mutual interests. A month later, they kissed, the documents say.
During the school trip on May 9, Muller and the teen had sex in the hotel room he shared with another student, according to the documents. They did so again the same day at a hotel in Virginia.
The teen's parents became concerned when they heard from other school trip chaperones that their son had been alone with Muller for about an hour late at night. The teen told his parents they had been talking. Then, the parents found messages between the teacher and the teen on his phone.
"Hope you slept well my love. Missing you," the texts said.
Finally, the teen told his father what happened.
The teen's parents met on May 14 with the school principal, who contacted child protective services.
In a letter to the principal, Muller apologized.
"It pains me that my actions have led to this point," she wrote, court documents say.
On May 20, a family member emailed Muller, pretending to be the teen. Muller tried to arrange to see him, the emails show. She asked him to be discreet.
"Whatever you do, please don't say that we've been talking. We can't see or speak to each other until this thing blows over ... Hopefully after graduation but not sure," she wrote.
A warrant for Muller's arrest was requested in late July. Neither she nor the school immediately responded to inquiries.