Delaware teacher accused of raping 15-year-old student

New Castle County police are concerned there could be more victims.

Saturday, July 16, 2022
Delaware teacher accused of raping 15-year-old student
New Castle County police are concerned there could be more victims.

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- A teacher in New Castle County, Delaware is now behind bars after he allegedly raped a 15-year-old student.

James Garfield was taken into custody on Friday. He is being charged with two counts of felony rape and other related offenses.

Authorities say Garfield works at High Road School in Wilmington.

A now-deleted page on the school's website listed Garfield as the 2021-2022 teacher of the year. A portion of his bio read: "Garfield loves building relationships with each student individually."

Garfield was also just recently named "campus teacher of the year."

Investigators say the student came forward saying they were having a sexual relationship with their teacher "Mr. James".

Garfield was taken into custody after police searched his home on the unit block of Norway Avenue.

Police are concerned there could be more victims. They are asking anyone with information to contact them at 302-395-2756.

Garfield has been suspended, according to school spokesperson Jennifer Leckstrom.

Police say he is currently being held on $200,000 cash bail.

High Road School, located on 1200 N. French St, opened in 2004. According to its website, the school provides an "intensive, structured, individualized special education program aimed at strengthening each student's academic and organizational skills, social and emotional abilities, sense of responsibility, job skills and self-esteem."

Read the full statement released by the school below:

"Since 2014, The High Road School of Delaware has been a trusted community resource for high school students needing an individualized special education program. We set high expectations for our team members and owe nothing less to our students and their families. As an organization, we take any breach of our policies seriously.

When school officials were made aware of the now suspended employee's arrest, we immediately notified families and our partner school districts. We are cooperating fully with the New Castle County Police Department as their investigation continues.

The hiring process for our school includes mandatory background checks, verification of appropriate licensure, and reference checks. We follow Delaware law and best practices in our hiring. There were no previous incidents or allegations involving this individual.

While we cannot speak in detail about specific situations involving minors or active investigations, we believe the alleged misconduct was an isolated incident and we remain fully committed to providing a safe environment for our students."