R.A. Hubbard teacher dies one day after being arrested on sexual abuse charges

Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 3:51 PM CDT
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HILLSBORO, Ala. (WAFF) - A teacher from R.A. Hubbard High School reportedly took her own life this weekend after being arrested on sexual abuse charges Friday.

Lawrence County Coroner Scott Norwood confirmed Leslie Gillespie died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.

Norwood was at the home of Gillespie in Hillsboro at 11:30 a.m. on May 29. Gillespie’s body has been sent to the Department of Forensics in Huntsville for an autopsy.

WAFF 48 News at 5 p.m. will cover the story this evening.

Read WAFF’s Original Story from May 28 below:

An English teacher from R.A. Hubbard School was arrested on rape and sodomy charges on Thursday.

Mugshot of Leslie Gillespie
Mugshot of Leslie Gillespie(Lawrence County Sheriff's Office)

According to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Leslie Gillespie, age 44 of Hillsboro, was taken into custody on May 27 shortly after 4 p.m.

Gillespie was booked on the following charges:

  • Second-degree rape
  • Second-degree sodomy
  • School employee engaging in a sex act with a student under the age of 19

According to court records obtained by WAFF 48, a student alleged the incident happened in September 2020. The student told investigators that he and another male student went to Gillespie’s classroom after school hours for the act. The students were 15 and 16 at the time.

Jon Bret Smith, Superintendent of Lawrence County Schools, issued the following statement:

The Lawrence County school district has been made aware that an employee has been arrested. Our school district treats this type of situation with the highest level of care. District leaders are conducting an investigation into this matter and will support law enforcement as they do the same. While the district cannot provide any specific details at this time, we want to emphasize that there is nothing more important to Lawrence County Schools than the safety and well-being of our students. The district will work diligently and expediently to resolve the situation.

Statement from Superintendent Jon Bret Smith
Statement from Superintendent Jon Bret Smith(Lawrence County Schools)

As of Friday morning, Gillespie was still listed as a faculty member on the school’s website.

R. A. Hubbard faculty listing
R. A. Hubbard faculty listing(R. A. Hubbard website)

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