Local News

Former Independence Teacher Convicted of Sexually Exploiting Students

A former Independence high school teacher was convicted of sexual exploitation last week.

According to a press release from the Buchanan County Attorney’s Office, 38-year old Kari Jean Schwartz of Waterloo was found guilty by a Buchanan County jury last Thursday of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee.

The charge against Schwartz stemmed from a report by a former student of the Independence Community School District. The report, made to Independence Police in January 2020, alleged that Schwartz engaged in sexual conduct with the student in the fall of 2009.

Schwartz was employed with the Independence Community School District as a high school art teacher from August 2005 until October 2009. She was then hired as a teacher with Peet Junior High School in Cedar Falls in 2010, where she continued to be employed during the investigation of this case. She was arrested and charged in July 2020.

Schwartz could face up to five years in prison, along with a fine between $750 and $7,500.

Her sentencing hearing has been scheduled for December 21st.

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