Former Gooding School Employee Arraigned on Sexual Battery Charges
GOODING, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Monday, Ann Kuroki was in Gooding County Court being arraigned on six felony counts of sexual battery of a minor and two misdemeanors of giving alcohol to a minor.
Kuroki, 26 was a teaching lab assistant at Gooding High School and the Gooding boys junior varsity basketball coach.
A rumor about Kuroki and a 17-year-old male Gooding High School student having inappropriate relations led to an internal investigation by Gooding administration. When the school district realized the truth behind the rumor police were called in and an investigation took place.
"I was made aware of the situation, last week on Monday actually and started taking action when the district was in session again Tuesday. I didn't really have much of a reaction other than this needed to be investigated. And once we did that she was terminated," said Superintendent Spencer Larsen.
He said Kuroki was terminated immediately because she was an at-will employee to begin with.
According to public records and a 15 page affidavit, the relationship with Kuroki and the 17-year-old student started in November of 2017 and ended Jan. 3.
The six felony counts are all the same; "Sexual Battery of a Minor Child Sixteen or Seventeen Years of Age: Felony, Idaho Code 18-1508A" and account for each time a sexual interaction took place. She is also being charged with two misdemeanor counts of "Dispensing to a Minor, Misdemeanors, Idaho Code 23-603."
Comparing the charges in Kuroki’s case to that of former Twin Falls School District employee Jason Benjamin, the difference is in the evidence.
"In this case the way the facts lay out the sexual battery on a minor actually is a more provable case," said Gooding County Prosecutor Matt Pember. "That being said they both carry with them the same punishments. So it's really a matter of semantics."
In laymen’s terms, both cases charges fall under Idaho’s rape laws. This means that both Kuroki and Benjamin if convicted face the same legal consequences in regards to amount of time to be served and fines.
Ann Kuroki’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 18 at 8:30 a.m. in Gooding County Court. The court set bond at $50,000 and if she posts it there is to be no contact with the victim or any minor under the age of 18 without supervision.