Janet Kay Barnes, 44, has been accused of having sexual contact with multiple teens

By Steve Helling
May 20, 2019 04:56 PM
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Pocola High School

A former Oklahoma high school teacher faces multiple rape and sexual battery charges after she allegedly had sex with three different teenaged students, PEOPLE confirms.

Janet Kay Barnes, 44, was a former teacher at Pocola High School, located in a rural area near the Arkansas border.

An investigation into Barnes’ behavior began in late 2016, when police received a tip alleging that she had engaged in inappropriate conduct with multiple students. During the investigation, Barnes was suspended from her teaching duties, the district superintendent told 40/29 News.

According to a grand jury indictment that was first obtained by WTKR, Barnes allegedly had sex with two minors in separate incidents between January 2014 and November 2016. She faces a charge of second-degree rape for each encounter.

The indictment also alleges that Barnes, who was married, committed sexual battery against a third student — an adult — in a separate incident. According to Oklahoma law, teachers are not permitted to have sexual contact with their students, even if the student is over the age of consent.

Each alleged victim was a student at the school where Barnes taught. All three students were between 16 and 19 years old.

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Barnes no longer teaches in the state of Oklahoma. Her contract was not renewed as the investigation was ongoing, and she no longer holds a valid teaching certificate, PEOPLE confirms.

According to online court records, a grand jury convened in Leflore County on Friday. The jury indicted Barnes on the charges and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Barnes is being held on $250,000 bond. She has not entered a plea, and court documents do not reflect an attorney authorized to speak on her behalf.

Barnes faces up to 15 years in prison on each count of second-degree rape. The sexual battery charge carries a penalty of no more than 10 years in prison.

The school district did not immediately return PEOPLE’s call for comment.