Rayna Culver, a Trenton educator, took in a city student who had been kicked out of a relative’s house in December 2015.
A year and a half later, Culver would be accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting the teenager after she became his legal guardian, according to a criminal complaint obtained by The Trentonian in response to a public records request.
“(The victim) believed that the purpose of her taking him in was to eventually make sex a part of their relationship,” court documents state.
Culver, 43, met the student while she was a school climate and culture leader at Rivera Middle School — a position she started in September 2013.
In a February interview, the student told Burlington County prosecutors the he and Culver were “very close” while he was attending the school that she worked at.
“There they developed a relationship and he would talk to her often,” the complaint reads.
After the student was kicked out his relative’s house, Culver assumed custody of the boy when he was 15 and they continued their close relationship, court documents disclose.
But eventually, that relationship would allegedly take a sickening turn.
Culver would start touching the victim, and “he didn’t think anything of it” initially, the complaint reads.
In June 2016 — when the victim was 15 years old — Culver allegedly started touching the boy when he was about to fall asleep and then she took off his clothes. Culver performed oral sex on the boy, then proceeded to have sex with him, court documents indicate.
“After that first incident, they would engage in sex often, and it was to the point where he felt that if he told her to stop she would get mad and kick him out of the house,” the complaint states. “(The victim) told Culver via text message that he didn’t want to have sex anymore, and she made it clear that she did not want it to stop.”
The victim told authorities that the sex with his 43-year-old caretaker “happened almost every day over several months.”
The teen also disclosed to prosecutors that there were conversations on his phone about their sexual relationship.
The boy turned over his phone to authorities and, in April, a forensic examination was conducted.
Authorities uncovered conversations between the teenager and “Mom,” whose phone number was utilized by Culver.
“Throughout the course of the conversations, Culver and (the victim) get into in-depth conversations regarding sex, having sex and sexual acts,” the complaint states.
“Potential bio fluid” was recovered as physical evidence as well as the seizure of two cellphones, the complaint reveals.
Asked about the allegations in the complaint on Wednesday, Culver’s attorney Robin Lord said the charges are “completely fabricated and made up.” “She looks forward to these charges being dismissed,” Lord said. “The state’s theory of the case is a completely fabricated recitation made up by a troubled, young man.”
In May, Culver was arrested on charges of second-degree sexual assault and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Culver, who lives on the first block of Tudor Drive in Burlington Township, earned a salary of $96,515 this past school year, district documents show.
Culver is local to the area.
She graduated from Steinert High School in Hamilton and earned a bachelor’s degree from West Chester University in elementary education.
In a Facebook post, Culver said she got married in July 2003. She also posts numerous pictures of herself with the man who is apparently her husband.