Former Teacher Charged with Rape, Molestation
A CAP Officer and former teacher has been charged with raping and molesting a teenage girl whom he knew had been the victim of previous sexual assaults.
Wendell Jerome Brave, 56, who taught social studies at Cedarcrest Junior High School in Spanaway, Wash., and is an officer and adviser to the students’ Civil Air Patrol unit, was charged last week with three counts of third-degree child rape, and one count of third degree child molestation.
In documents filed in Pierce County Superior Court, prosecutors said Brave had sex with the girl 20 to 30 times between November 2002 and last April, when he was suspended from his job. The girl said she had sex with Brave in his car before and after school, and she provided DNA evidence that matched his profile, investigators wrote.
She was not attending Cedarcrest at the time but had been a student at the school, said Mark Wenzel, a Bethel School District spokesman. Brave is a friend of the girl’s family and attended the trial of a man who was accused of sexually assaulting her previously, prosecutors wrote.
The girl tried to commit suicide after accusing Brave and apparently sent him a letter at some point denying that they had had sex but is now prepared to testify against him, according to the court documents.
Brave was removed from his job after the girl told school officials she had had sex with him, and he retired in June after 12 years with the district, Wenzel said.
School officials previously noticed “the appearance of inappropriate behavior” between the two and twice warned Brave twice to stay away from the girl, “but that’s all it was at that point — appearances,” Wenzel said. “When we heard from her about the alleged sexual misconduct, we notified authorities immediately,” he said.