Illinois Teacher Accused of Sexual Assault and Selling 'Date Rape Drug'

July 7, 2008 - 7:03 PM

Clayton, Mo. (CNSNews.com) - Gabriel Mitchell, the 26-year-old Collinsville, Illinois high school math teacher charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy and with trying to sell the so-called "date rape" drug to an undercover agent in nearby St. Louis, Missouri, was apparently living a double life, according to police.

Students at Collinsville High School say Mitchell, who had taught there for two years, was popular and considered a good teacher. They say they would never have expected anyone from their school, located on the eastern fringes of the St. Louis metropolitan area, to be involved in such a circumstance.

However, St. Louis County police say the case shows there is no guarantee that any location is safe from drugs. "It's shocking that a teacher could be found -- someone we trust with our children -- to be actually selling this substance in quantity," said police Lt. Tom Jackson.

"What parents need to do, first of all, is make themselves aware these drugs are out there," said Jackson, "and that nice, middle-income young people are using them on a regular basis."

Mitchell was first arrested March 11 for possession of methamphetamines, briefly jailed and then released. Then, last week, he was busted again during a sting operation, for allegedly trying to sell 1 1/2 ounces of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), also known as the "date rape" drug, to undercover detectives.

Jackson said at the time of his arrest, Mitchell possessed enough GHB to kill or incapacitate several people. He was also charged with resisting arrest and is currently being held in the St. Louis County jail in Clayton on $50,000 bond.

Mitchell has other problems: He is also charged in Madison County, Illinois, with two counts of aggravated sexual assault on a 15-year-old Jefferson County, Mo., boy. The boy is now 16. He was never a student of Mitchell's at Collinsville High School and in a statement released by school officials, there is no evidence Mitchell had any inappropriate contact with any students at Collinsville High.

"He (Mitchell) was most-definitely living a double life," Jackson said. "He was a very well-liked teacher at the high school."

Social workers planned to meet with Collinsville High School students Tuesday to answer any questions about the case. Monday night, the school district suspended Mitchell from his teaching job, without pay.