VAN NUYS — An elementary schoolteacher from North Hollywood was charged Wednesday with eight felony counts of having sex with a teen-age boy she may have met while he was one of her students.
Penelope Kay Boyd, a teacher at 96th Street School in South-Central Los Angeles, is accused of having sex with the boy, who is now 16, from November, 1992, until her arrest last week.
Officials with the Los Angeles Unified School District have taken Boyd out of the classroom and assigned her to work in an office away from children, said Shel Erlich, communications officer for the school district. Once charges are filed, teachers are most commonly placed on unpaid leave, he said, noting that the district has not yet taken this action against Boyd, who has taught in the district for eight years.
Authorities declined to discuss details of the criminal case or where the sexual activity occurred, saying they wanted to protect the identity of the alleged victim.
Prosecutors did reveal that at least one of Boyd's relatives brought suspicions of illegal sexual activity to the attention of police.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Carole Chizever charged Boyd with six counts of unlawful sex with a minor and two counts of oral copulation.
Boyd was charged under a section of the California Penal Code that was amended by the Legislature last year to include males under the age of 18. Previously, prosecutors could file charges under the statute outlawing sex with minors only in cases in which the victims were female. The language of the revised law no longer specifies gender.
The boy told investigators that he did not want to have sex with Boyd, Chizever said. Without elaborating, the prosecutor said the teacher used "mental coercion" on the boy.
"It went on intermittently" through a 1 1/2-year period, Chizever said.
Boyd, 47, may have been one of the boy's elementary schoolteachers, but prosecutors have yet to confirm the connection. Authorities so far have not found any other victims.
Boyd surrendered to police last week and was released after posting $50,000 bail.
She is scheduled to appear in Van Nuys Municipal Court for arraignment May 18. Prosecutors said they will ask a judge at that time to double Boyd's bail to $100,000.