Maize teacher arrested on suspicion of unlawful sexual relations

Maddie Neigenfind and Allie Choyce

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Law and Fire Science teacher Johnny Yelverton was arrested today.

A Maize teacher was booked into Sedgwick County Jail today on suspicions of two counts of unlawful sexual relations and failure to report suspected child abuse, according to the Sedgwick County booking report. 

Johnny Yelverton, who teaches Law Enforcement and Fire Science, has been teaching at Maize for two years. Yelverton, 44, teaches Law I and II, Intro to Law and Public Safety, and Fire Science I and II. He is a former police officer. 

“The teacher, who teaches high school students from both Maize High School and Maize South High School at our Maize Career Academy, will not be permitted to return to work pending law enforcement investigation,” Superintendent Chad Higgins said in a letter emailed to staff and parents. “In the meantime, a substitute teacher will step in during these last few days of school,”

According to Kansas law, unlawful sexual relations is defined as engaging in consensual sexual intercourse, lewd fondling or touching, or sodomy when the offender is in a position of power or influence, while the victim is particularly susceptible to this power, influence or manipulation. People falling under this sex crime include teachers, police officers, correctional officers, employees and contractors of jails and prisons. Unlawful sexual relations may constitute a level 4 or 5 person felony, depending on the act and the role of the parties involved.

“I want to assure you that we prioritize student safety and will do everything in our power to prohibit anything that compromises that goal to occur within our district,” Higgins said. “Providing our students a safe environment and treating them with utmost respect at all times is nonnegotiable for us as educators and Maize USD 266 employees.”

Maize High principal Chris Botts said he cannot comment about the situation.

Yelverton was featured in a Play newsmagazine story last year. It was his first at Maize after he previously worked as a police officer in Augusta. He also served in the Air Force and with fire rescue.

“People are going to do stupid things,” he said in the story. “But if you come through here, if I put your picture on my wall when you graduate, when you get into a uniform or something, and you fail me or you fail yourself or you fail your family or your community, that’s my biggest fear. To see your picture on the news when you have done something wrong.”


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