TWIN FALLS — A Twin Falls teacher has been charged with rape after allegedly having sexual contact with a 17-year-old former student.
Jason Benjamin, 39, was arraigned Friday and jailed on a $100,000 bond. Benjamin was most recently a math teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School, but had taught at Canyon Ridge High School from 2009 until 2017. It was at Canyon Ridge that he taught his alleged victim, Twin Falls Prosecuting Attorney Grant Loebs confirmed.
The pair are believed to have had sexual contact multiple times over the month of October, including the exchange of sexual photos, an attorney representing the state said at the arraignment hearing.
Benjamin admitted to police that sexual contact had taken place, the state attorney said at the arraignment. It’s unclear whether there are multiple victims, but Loebs said he didn’t have reason to believe that there was more than one.
Benjamin has worked at Twin Falls schools for 12 years, according to the district. He began as a teacher at Robert Stuart Middle School in the 2005-06 school year. After one year at Robert Stuart, he moved to Twin Falls High School, where he taught from 2006 until 2009.
He returned to Robert Stuart as a math teacher this school year.
While teaching at Canyon Ridge, Benjamin also served as an assistant coach for the track and cross country teams. He had a contract to be assistant track coach again this year.
He has been placed on administrative leave by the Twin Falls School District, and is legally forbidden to have contact with any minors under the age of 18 who are not relatives.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 5.