Southern Local teacher to appear in court on sex charge

Katie Ruefner

KINSMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Southern Local Schools teacher facing charges of having sex with a student will be going to trial in Kansas.

Katie Rufener, 26, had been a science teacher and the head cheer-leading coach at Holcomb High School until she resigned last spring. Court documents say Rufener invited a teen over to her home three different times to have sex.

The student was 18 when the sexual encounters reportedly occurred, but under Kansas law, it is still illegal for a teacher to have sex with a student — even if the student is 18.

After leaving Kansas, the Kinsman native was hired this school year at Southern Local Schools in Columbiana County. She was placed on paid leave after being charged with the sex crime in Kansas.

Southern Local Schools Superintendent John Wilson issued this statement WKBN when asked about the situation in October:

The matter has been referred to the school attorney. The teacher is on administrative leave pending investigation. The school board and administration consider this a serious matter and will give it top priority until resolved.

Rufener is scheduled to appear in court March 9 for her arraignment.

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