Wisconsin Teacher Accused of Having Sex with Student Allegedly Had Toddler Present in Home

Shannon Cardinal, 43, a teacher in Wisconsin, who is accused to having sexual relations with a 17-year-old boy, is alleged to have had her 2-year-old present in the home during one of the encounters.

A toddler was present in the home during an alleged sexual encounter between a teacher and former student who now lives in Marion, IA, prosecutors say.

The teacher, Shannon Cardinal, 43, of Oakfield, WI, may face charges in Iowa in addition to the 186 years in prison she is facing if convicted in Wisconsin. Those are among new details emerging in the case in which Cardinal is being accused of having sex with an underage former student, who was 16 at the time of some of the alleged encounters and is now 17.

Prosecutors said in a court appearance Friday that Mayville High School teacher Shannon Cardinal had her 2-year-old child present during one of the alleged sexual encounters at her home, Fox 11 of Green Bay, WI reported.

NBC-26, also in Green Bay, WI, cites criminal complaints in its reports that the unnamed student left the district and moved to Iowa in March, and that Cardinal traveled to see him and they allegedly had sex in his mother's house.

The report states Cardinal may also face charges in Iowa.

The relationship started slowly, according to the Fox 11 report.

The student told police he started having lunch with Cardinal in her classroom in May 2011, Fox 11 reported, citing criminal complaints. In fall 2011, he was enrolled in her Spanish class, he told police. 

Things evolved from there.

Lunch turned into text messages and friendship and then allegedly evolved into a consensual but illegal sexual relationship, with the first encounter being on December 8, 2011, the student told investigators, Fox 11 reports.

"We're dealing with a situation that is known as consensual in fact, but not in law," Fond du Lac County District Attorney Dan Kaminsky told Fox 11. "And sometimes participants may not realize the significance of the conduct they are engaging in."

with six counts each of sexual assault and child enticement.

According to Marion Police Chief Harry Daugherty, the first known sexual encounter occurred in Marion, but most encounters occurred at Cardinal's residence in Mayville. A family member of the victim brought the alleged relationship to light in Marion.

Cardinal appeared in court for the first time on Friday and was released on a $5,000 bond. 

Cardinal has been on paid administrative leave since Monday.

The Fond du Lac District Attorney did not immediately respond to contact from Marion Patch.

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