Cris Lynn Morris

Washington County prosecutors have filed five first-degree felony rape charges against a Hurricane High School teacher.

The charges filed in St. George's 5th District Court late Thursday against Cris Lynn Morris, 29, accuse her of having sex with a 17-year-old boy who worked as a student aide in her classes. In court documents, Hurricane police said they received information about a "possible relationship" between the alleged victim and Morris.

In a probable cause statement filed with the rape charges, police said they questioned the 17-year-old about the sexual encounters, which began in August.

"The first incident of sexual intercourse occurred in Washington City and Cris' residence in the back yard," Hurricane police officer Jayson Despain wrote. "The victim disclosed that this was at night."

Police said there were other sexual encounters in Morris' home, including one on Oct. 19 in which the alleged victim spent the night.

"The victim said this visit to her home was planned, and he went to the home after Cris had returned from a school soccer trip," Despain wrote. "The victim stayed the night and left the next morning after the intercourse had occurred."

In court documents, police said that Morris confirmed in an interview that the boy had been at her home.

"Due to her position of trust she held over the victim, Cris was charged with five counts of rape," police wrote.

Morris was booked into the Purgatory Jail and later bailed out after posting a $100,000 cash bond. She is scheduled to make her first appearance on the charges Tuesday.

The Washington County School District said it hired Morris in 2004 to teach social studies and history, and she also served as the coach for the Hurricane High School girls soccer and track teams. The district said Morris has been placed on administrative leave while it investigates the matter.

"While the WCSD cannot comment on the specifics of this situation until the investigation is complete, allegations of this type concern us deeply," district human resources director Lyle Cox said in a statement sent to the Deseret Morning News on Friday. "The district prides itself on the integrity of its teachers and staff."

E-mail: [email protected]