CHESTERTON, Ind. — A teacher at Chesterton High School has been terminated from his position and arrested on charges of child seduction after allegedly behaving inappropriately with a student.
Dakota McCoy, 31, of Valparaiso, was arrested Monday and faces three counts of child seduction and one count of obstruction of justice, according to the Chesterton Police Department.
McCoy was a former instructional assistant and teacher at the high school.
Police said his arrest follows two separate investigations initiated on Sept. 14 — both a criminal and an internal school investigation — after a former Chesterton High School student alleged an inappropriate relationship with McCoy while she was still enrolled at the school.
The Times of Northwest Indiana reports the former student alleges they first had sex when she was 16 or 17 and estimated they continued having sex about 50 times in all in his car and at his mother’s house.
McCoy was allegedly heard in phone conversations admitting to their relationship and asking the student to lie about it to school officials.
In June 2022, the victim provided police a recording of a phone conversation between the two where McCoy admits to the sexual encounters.
“I’ve felt a sense of guilt and shame, I think about it every day,” he allegedly said. “I’m sorry for everything that happened and everything that I did.”
According to Dunelane School Supt. Dr. Chip Pettit, the incident occurred more than five years ago. The superintendent said that McCoy was removed from the classroom immediately following news of the allegations, and that his employment with the district has been terminated.
“The safety of our students is non-negotiable and we are dedicated to maintaining a nurturing and secure learning environment. The allegations concerning this staff member are contrary to the ideals, standards and expectations of our school culture and community,” Pettit said in a statement.
The police department said they continue to search for any additional witnesses who may have information regarding the allegations against McCoy, including current or former students.
“Since the time these serious allegations came to light, the Chesterton Police Department’s Investigative Division has made this investigation its top priority,” Police Chief Tim Richardson said.
According to police, the case remains an ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Chesterton police at 219-926-1136.