Affidavit: Lufkin cheer coach had prior sexual relationship with student

Mary Thigpen (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Mary Thigpen (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A former Lufkin ISD cheerleader coach charged in connection to an inappropriate relationship with a student had a previous relationship with another student in the 2009-2010 school year, according to an arrest affidavit.

Mary Ainsley Thigpen, 29, of Lufkin, is charged with second-degree improper relationship between educator and student.

According to the affidavit, Thigpen began text messaging an 18-year-old male student during the 2015-2016 school year. The student told Lufkin ISD police that the texting was graphic and sexual in nature. He said at one point, Thigpen's husband became aware of the text messaging, so the two switched to GroupMe and Snapchat to communicate, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states the two met at the Crown Colony Golf Course in March, where Thigpen gave oral sex to the student.

The entire incident came to light when two teachers at Lufkin High School told staff of an inappropriate amount of text messaging between the two. The teachers said they talked to another student, who confirmed the 18-year-old admitted to her that there was a sexual relationship between the two.

Harold's House's Ashley Cook said it is always good for parents to be aware of the social media their children are on.

"It is not about invading their privacy, it is about protecting them," Cook said. "Keeping up to it can get to be too much. What we need to do is take a proactive approach as parents and talk to our children about what our expectations are with their behavior as far as safety."

During the investigation, the officer said he took a statement from a former student from the 2009-2010 school year who said he had a prior sexual relationship with Thigpen while he was at Lufkin High School.

The affidavit says the 2009 incident is outside the statute of limitations but is confirming evidence for the new incident.

Cook added that it is always important to not point fingers when these incidents happen.

"It does not matter what the gender is of either the educator or the student because it is not okay to exploit a child, so we don't want to make children feel pressure to either think it is okay, cool or to victim blame and say it is their fault," Cook said. "None of those are okay."

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