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Lehigh Valley

Teacher waives hearing on charges of having sex with student

Fmr. Bangor teacher waives preliminary hearing

BANGOR, Pa. - A former Bangor Area High School teacher accused of sleeping with underage students is heading to trial.  Rachel Farrell waived her right to a preliminary hearing Thursday, and now she will be going to trial to face the charges against her.

Farrell was an 11th grade teacher at Bangor Area High School in Northampton County and taught under her maiden name Rachel Werner.  Police say the 25-year-old had numerous sexual encounters with students and would meet in hotel rooms, parking lots and secluded spots to have sex with underage boys.

"We're trying to see if her conduct fits a legal description of a crime at this point, and authorities are not in complete agreement that it does," explained her defense attorney Steve Mills.

Investigators say Farrell had an extended affair with at least one 17-year-old student, and they say they believe she had sexual relations with as many as three other underage teens.  She's charged with three counts of corruption of minors.  Thursday she passed on her chance to fight them.

"She didn't want to put the victim on the stand, she didn't want to put him through this," said Mills.

News of the former teacher's indiscretions rocked the Bangor community.  People we spoke with told us they weren't surprised by the scandal, but they said teachers must be held to a higher standard.

"It's very nasty, they shouldn't be doing that at all," said Jessica VanBuskirk.

"I think she should lose her license and never be able to teach again," added Debbie Futchko.

Farrell's trial date is set for April 5th in Northampton County.

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