Leslie Gillespie's alleged crimes occurred back in September, according to police

By Chris Harris
June 01, 2021 09:22 AM
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Leslie Gillespie
Leslie Gillespie
| Credit: R. A. Hubbard School

A 44-year-old teacher committed suicide days after authorities in Alabama accused her of sexually abusing two of her students.

Leslie Buttram Gillespie was arrested on Thursday, PEOPLE confirms.

Gillespie was charged with individual counts of second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy along with two counts for being a school employee engaging in a sex act with a student under the age of 19.

Gillespie was working at R.A. Hubbard High School in North Courtland at the time of her arrest. In 2019, the school had named her teacher of the year.

Online records confirm Gillespie was released Thursday after posting a $60,000 bond.

On Saturday morning, police responded to the English teacher's home in Hillsboro, where they found her body. Officials claim she died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

WAFF 48 obtained court records that indicate a student came forward recently, telling investigators he and another male student had sex with Gillespie in her classroom after school back in September 2020.

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The students were 15 and 16 at the time of the alleged sexual abuse.

Lawrence County Schools Superintendent Jon Bret Smith sent a statement home to parents following the teacher's arrest, saying the district would be conducting its own inquiry into Gillespie's alleged conduct.

"While the district cannot provide any specific details at this time, we want to emphasize that there is nothing more important to Lawrence County Schools than the safety and well-being of our students," reads the statement. "The district will work diligently and expediently to resolve the situation."