A former Portage High School teacher was charged with two counts of sexual assault of a student by school staff on Friday.
The Portage Police Department released a statement saying Abby M. Dibbs of Cross Plains, 35, on May 26. The police learned of the relationship after the Portage Community School District Administration contacted the police.
Portage School District released a statement saying they were working with law enforcement.
“This teacher is no longer employed by the Portage Community School District and will not be returning to the classroom. Upon learning of this matter, the District responded immediately and contacted law enforcement. The District will not be commenting further to ensure that there is no disruption to the investigation by law enforcement and to protect the privacy of others involved,” the statement said.
“We feel confident that the high school and all district buildings are safe and secure for all students and staff. We appreciate the efforts of our law enforcement in addressing this matter. District officials will continue to monitor our schools to ensure a safe environment,” the district statement said.
The Portage High School website states she was an English teacher for the district.
Dibbs made an initial appearance in Columbia County Circuit Court on Friday. Judge W. Andrew Voigt set $3,500 cash bond. Dibbs may not have contact with the victim in the criminal complaint or go on the high school premises. She may not have unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18 with the exception of her own child and her nieces or nephews as long as an adult is present. Dibbs remains in custody as of Friday afternoon, according to online records.
According to the criminal complaint, a Portage Police detective spoke with Dibbs on May 26 about her relationship with a 17-year-old male student at the high school. The complaint says Dibbs admitted that the student came to her residence on Friday and Saturday the weekend before, once in the bedroom and once in the living room.
She also said they discussed how they felt about each other and how there were lines they couldn’t cross, and then they crossed the lines.
The detective also spoke to the student, who said he had sexual intercourse with Dibbs twice over the weekend, once in the bedroom and once in the living room. The student said he was in love with Dibbs. The victim became upset about the person who “snitched,” and the victim’s mother said the person did the right thing because the relationship was not appropriate.
A pre-trial conference is scheduled for July 26.