Former Wauwatosa teacher charged, sexual assault of student

A former middle school teacher is accused of sexually assaulting her eighth grade student – and the accusations against her don't end there.

Prosecutors say 34-year-old Tyesha Bolden bought the victim a gun as a birthday present. The alleged inappropriate relationship began when the victim was a 13-year-old student in her classroom.

Court filings indicate Bolden and the victim first met last October at Pilgrim Lutheran School in Wauwatosa when she became his eighth grade teacher. Investigators said, between late May and late July of this year, the two exchanged more than 2,200 messages.

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In the messages, a criminal complaint states Bolden acknowledged the victim was a minor and that she feels guilty. In one message, Bolden wrote: "I want to see you as often as possible and the rest will just happen."

The picture of Bolden below was included in the criminal complaint filed against her. Prosecutors say she sent it to the victim in May, and the victim told police she sent others – including nude pictures – in early 2023.

Tyesha Bolden (Courtesy: Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office)

In June, right before school was out, the victim said Bolden picked him up, and they had sex in a Brown Deer park. When he turned 14, the victim said Bolden bought him a gun; prosecutors were able to trace and confirm as much. The boy told investigators the relationship with the teacher ended in late July when Bolden refused to buy him another gun.

Bolden is charged with second-degree sexual assault of a child and providing a dangerous weapon to a person under 18. She faces more than 40 years in prison if convicted of both felonies.

Saturday, court records indicate Bolden made her initial court appearance. Her cash bond was set at $2,500.

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Pilgrim Lutheran is a part of LUMIN Schools. President and CEO Shaun Luehring issued the following statement to FOX6 News:

As a faith based, Christ-centered network, LUMIN Schools is comprised of Christian team members united by our mission. We strive to be a network of schools that is Christian in every sense of the word. Therefore, we expect our staff to represent Jesus Christ and the mission of LUMIN Schools – not only in their work, but in their personal lives as well.

LUMIN takes the physical, emotional and spiritual safety of our students incredibly seriously. To that end, we conduct background checks on all candidates prior to employment. We share our expectations around standards of conduct with all teachers and employees, and execute regular trainings to ensure our expectations, policies and procedures are understood in practice.

Recently, LUMIN leadership received information indicating that a Pilgrim Lutheran School teacher violated our standards of conduct. We immediately shared the information with local authorities and began an internal investigation. Within 24 hours, members of LUMIN’s administrative team met with the teacher and determined there had been a violation of the LUMIN Schools Standards of Conduct leading to immediate termination.

On August 15, the Brown Deer Police notified LUMIN that their investigation uncovered additional information and the former teacher was placed under arrest.