- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A judge provided a former Sioux Falls middle school teacher with an attorney but didn’t lower her bail on charges she had a sexual relationship with a girl.

Thirty-three-year-old Tonya Marie Drueppel, of Sioux Falls, appeared briefly Thursday in Minnehaha Court on three counts of 4th-degree rape and two counts of sexual contact with a child under 16.

The investigation started Jan. 22 when police received a referral from the Department of Social Services.

According to a court document, her relationship with the 14-year-old started in 2012 when Drueppel was an Axtell Park Middle School teacher.

The district says she was with the district from 2009 through the end of the last school year.

Drueppel is being held on $500,000 cash bond.

The defense office representing her did not comment.

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