K-12 Education

Judge issues arrest warrant for former Washington High sub accused of having sexual relationship with student

Bail set at $6,500 for Mary Beth Haglin

Mary Elizabeth Haglin
Mary Elizabeth Haglin

CEDAR RAPIDS — A judge issued an arrest warrant Thursday for Mary Beth Haglin, a former Washington High School substitute teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.

Sixth Judicial Associate District Judge Angie Wilson issued the arrest warrant and set a $6,500 bail for Haglin after a motion was filed by Assistant Linn County Attorney Heidi Carmer, asking that Haglin’s pre-trial release be revoked because she violated conditions of the release when she called the student, who is now 18-year-old, and met with him on Sept. 6.

A judge previously ordered Haglin, 24, to have no contact with the student, as one of the conditions of pre-trial release.

Carmer said she was made aware of an interview Haglin gave to Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen, based in Los Angeles, for an episode which aired on Tuesday. Haglin admits to having a sexual relationship with the student, as she did in a previous interview with The Gazette and other media outlets.

The recent video interview shows Haglin meeting with the student at Haglin’s new workplace, Woody’s Show Club in Cedar Rapids. Haglin is working as a dancer at the club, according to the video report from Crime Watch Daily.

Haglin on Thursday declined to comment.

Haglin is charged with sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist or school employee, an aggravated misdemeanor, the criminal complaint shows.

She has pleaded not guilty to the charge and her trial is set for Nov. 14 in Linn County Associate District Court.

Haglin was arrested and charged in July. According to the complaint, Haglin had a sexual relationship with the student between Jan. 1 and May 17 while she worked as a substitute teacher at Washington High School.

Haglin, if convicted, faces up to two years in jail and being listed on the sex offender registry for 10 years.

Two longtime Washington High administrators, Principal Ralph Plagman and Associate Principal Michael Johnson, abruptly retired over the fallout regarding the way the internal investigation of Haglin was handled. The district’s human resources director, Jill Cirivello, has also left her position.

Haglin started working as a substitute for Washington High in January and was removed from her position in May after school administrators conducted an investigation beginning in April.

But during the first investigation in February, Plagman and Johnson determined rumors of the relationship were unfounded.

According to emails acquired by The Gazette through a Freedom of Information Act request, Plagman during a second investigation of the rumored sexual relationship, agreed to write Haglin a letter of recommendation. The request came three months after Plagman and Johnson first investigated Haglin and wrongly determining the rumors to be unfounded.

After she left Washington High, district officials then failed to remove Haglin from a substitute teacher database, and she was placed as a substitute teacher in a different school for nine days at the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

District officials earlier this month closed a six-week-long, in-house investigation that aimed to answer questions about events related to Haglin.


A district statement didn’t provide much new information, citing student and personnel confidentiality.

Although administrators had been trained in September 2015 on investigative procedures — which Superintendent Brad Buck mentioned at the Aug. 8 school board meeting — Plagman and Johnson did not follow those procedures during their first investigation in February, according to the statement.

The administrators also failed to use correct investigation techniques in a second investigation, according to the statement. That investigation began in April, weeks before Plagman agreed to recommend Haglin for other teaching positions.

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