Vanessa Jean Hooker.

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed against a former Bakersfield junior high school teacher who admitted engaging in sex acts with a minor she had taught, according to court records.

Vanessa Jean Hooker, 36, had been sued by the guardians of the minor after she pleaded no contest to two felony sex crimes in January 2016. Hooker was sentenced to a year in jail and was ordered to complete sex offender counseling and stay away from minors, with the exception of her own children.

A judge also ordered her to register as a sex offender. 

The terms of the civil settlement were not included on the Kern County Superior Court website.

Hooker's attorney, Jeremy Swanson, and Daniel Rodriguez, the attorney representing the minor's family, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Hooker, arrested in December 2015, told investigators she engaged in sex acts with a former student, and described the anatomy of that student and another in text messages, according to court documents.

The sexual encounter took place in her classroom at Beardsley Junior High before school began, the documents said. She had texted the boy to meet her there to lend her a sports jersey.

Investigators said numerous text messages showed Hooker pursued three former students, two who were 16 years old and one who was 14 at the time.

At one point, Hooker told investigators the boy with whom she engaged in sex acts prompted the contact. Numerous text messages, however, showed Hooker pursued the former students, the documents said. 

Authorities began looking into the case after the mother of one of the victims reported to school officials that she had found "extremely inappropriate and sexual" text messages sent from Hooker to her son, according to the documents.

She taught science at Beardsley Junior High, and was also involved with Project Lead the Way, a national nonprofit organization that focuses on providing science, technology, engineering and math programs to students from kindergarten to high school.

Jason Kotowski can be reached at 661-395-7491. Follow him on Twitter: @tbcbreakingnews.

(1) comment


One year in jail for engaging in sex acts with her student?

That "female privilege" sure must be nice....

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