Former Sherwood teacher accused of sex abuse of students

Denise Keesse

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on June 18, 2013 at 6:01 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 18 at 7:40 PM

HILLSBORO -- A former Sherwood High School teacher was arrested Monday, accused of having sex with two boys at her home and the homes of the boys during school hours.

Denise Keesee, 38, is accused of six counts of second-degree sex abuse. She was booked into the Washington County jail Monday and held on $120,000 bond. 

The alleged offenses date back to 2006, according to Washington County sheriff's office detective Robert Rookhuyzen. She was married to the school's Sherwood police liaison officer, who has not been charged with any crime, he said.

The case was investigated by the sheriff's office to avoid any conflicts, he said.

"Very complicated," was how he described the investigation of the math teacher who also coached soccer.

Rookhuyzen said Keesee targeted vulnerable students who knew her husband was the on-campus officer.

“Some of the students she worked with were in a program for at-risk youth," Rookhuyzen said, "These were young people who had come from broken homes, not doing well in school. And she was able to become buddies with them."

Rookhuyzen said Keesee would “date” the students, taking them to movies and the park.

He has been working the case for months, trying to get very reluctant former students to tell their stories. All the alleged victims are now adults but were underage at the time of the incidents they described.

None of the victims came forward willingly and the alleged abuse was reported by those required to report abuse, after rumors started surfacing at the school, he said.

The detective said the role of Keesee's husband as on-site officer "prevented people from coming forward essentially." The officer no longer works at the school.

On Tuesday, Rookhuyzen told KGW that she had admitted to sex with several boys, but stopped cooperating later in the investigation. One of the boys was of the mind that a romance had developed that could lead to marriage, he said.

Keesee resigned from her teaching position in May 2013. She has been on leave since the allegations first surfaced in November of 2012.

More: Sherwood teacher accused of sexual misconduct

Rookhuyzen said it is likely there are more victims who have not come forward. He urged them to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

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