Former Smyrna educator pleads guilty in rape case


DOVER — A Dover woman pleaded guilty to two counts of fourth-degree rape Thursday morning after a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old teen while she was a Smyrna School District employee.

Karen L. Brooks, 38 at the time of her arrest in June, faces zero to 30 years in prison when sentenced in Kent County Superior Court on Feb. 14, 2018. Judge Noel Primos accepted the plea made at the Kent County Courthouse.

Smyrna Police said that Mrs. Brooks was assigned to Smyrna Middle School when detectives were notified of a possible inappropriate sexual relationship in early May. She was taken into custody without incident on June 1 and charged with fourth-degree rape/sexual intercourse with a victim under 18.

Police said they did not believe any of the supposed acts happened on school district property.

In court documents, a detective said Mrs. Brooks met the youth when he managed the Smyrna Middle School track team that she coached. She was an Educational Diagnostician, working in the Special Services department at Smyrna Middle School.

Mrs. Brooks was placed on paid leave on May 15. The status changed to unpaid administrative leave when she was arrested, officials said. She resigned from her school district position on June 6.

Karen L. Brooks

Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Dickerson prosecuted the case, and attorney Alexander Funk represented Mrs. Brooks.

According to an arrest affidavit, the underage student’s mother reported him missing on April 19. Police alleged that Mrs. Brooks admitted to sexual acts with the boy twice over spring break between April 14 and April 23 “when her children and husband were in Pennsylvania.”

The minor alleged that Mrs. Brooks twice performed a sexual act on him during supposed encounters.

According to police, Mrs. Brooks was interviewed after being read her Miranda rights and allegedly spoke of a relationship with the boy that included two sexual liaisons.

“She advised she never asked for it, that the (alleged) victim would ask her to and ‘I just didn’t say no, and I did whatever I was told,’” the detective reported in papers.

Also, Mrs. Brooks said the youth “was sitting on the corner of her bed, and he asked her to have sex, so she did,” according to papers.

Mrs. Brooks was also listed as a volunteer cross country coach on a district website.

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