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Public-school teacher accused of adopting 15-year-old student for incredibly disturbing reason

A public-school teacher in Trenton, New Jersey, has been accused of adopting a 15-year-old male student for the purpose of forcing the boy to have a sexual relationship with her. (2014 file photo/Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images)

A public-school teacher in Trenton, New Jersey, has been accused of adopting a 15-year-old male student for the purpose of forcing the boy to have a sexual relationship with her.

After a student at a Trenton School District school was kicked out of a relative’s home in December 2015, the boy was taken in by Rayna Culver, a "school climate and culture leader" at Rivera Middle School. Culver knew the student from when he had previously attended Rivera Middle School.

Culver, 43, who is reportedly married, assumed custody of the student and then allegedly forced herself on him daily over the course of several months, according to a report by the Trentonian and a complaint filed with county officials.

“After that first incident, they would engage in sex often, and it was to the point where he felt that if he told her to stop she would get mad and kick him out of the house,” the complaint states. “[The boy] told Culver via text message that he didn’t want to have sex anymore, and she made it clear that she did not want it to stop.”

In addition to the testimony provided by the student, officials have said they have uncovered numerous text messages in which Culver engaged in extremely inappropriate conversations with the student.

In May, Culver was charged with second-degree sexual assault and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. Culver’s attorney has said the allegations are “completely fabricated.”

“She looks forward to these charges being dismissed," the attorney said. "The state's theory of the case is a completely fabricated recitation made up by a troubled young man."

Despite having told authorities in February about the incident, it appears Culver continued to work for the public school through the end of the 2016-17 school year, earning a salary of $96,515, according to a report by the Central Record (N.J.).

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