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A second educator who worked in an Iowa school district has died by suicide following accusations of sexual misconduct involving a student.
William Terry, 47, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound as Marshalltown Police officers approached his home, according to NBC’s WHO 13. Authorities were there to serve Terry with search and arrest warrants related to a sexual exploitation investigation.
“Preliminary investigative results indicate the male shot himself,” said Marshalltown Police in a press release.
Police said they received a complaint on July 6 “concerning potential sexual exploitation and inappropriate sexual contact between a former school employee and former student.”
Terry, a former associate principal at Marshalltown High School, was employed with the school district at the time of the alleged misconduct.
He was the third man accused of sexual misconduct toward a student within the district in recent weeks
In June, 26-year-old Mark Esquivel, a physical education teacher at Marshalltown High School, was arrested and charged for allegedly repeatedly contacting a 17-year-old for sexual contact, according to a Marshalltown Police press release.
Earlier this month, a middle school teacher, 42-year-old Adam Edgington, was accused of fondling one of his 13-year-old male students. According to a press release, he was released while pending a July 12 court appearance.
One day after his arrest, Edgington was found in his car parked in a field. He’d died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to KCRG 9.
“The Marshalltown Community School District is aware of the death of a former staff member announced today by the Marshalltown Police Department,” the school district said in a statement obtained by WHO 13. “The former staff member was being investigated by police in relation to allegations involving a former student.”
The school district emphasized the importance of student safety and offered counseling services to students and staff alike.
“The Marshalltown CSD took swift action to address recent allegations of misconduct against former employees and will continue to cooperate fully with the MPD.”
Regarding the allegations against Terry, Marshalltown Police Chief Michael Tupper said there was an "ongoing pattern of conduct by Mr. Terry involving the student where he had some inappropriate communication, and ultimately had inappropriate physical contact with our victim, and that’s what led to the investigation and ultimately, the filing of the criminal charges," according to KCCI 8.
Despite Terry’s death, it remains an ongoing investigation.
“For our victim, it’s important that we answer all the questions. For our community, it’s important that we answer all the questions. And for the school district, we want to make sure that we have all the information that we need to safely say that we know who was involved and that there’s no other issues that we need to address.”
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