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Police chief says 2 Marshalltown teachers charged with sexual exploitation do not define school district

Two teachers in the district were arrested within a week of each other for inappropriate sexual contact with students, according to police.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Editor's Note: The following story may be upsetting as it contains graphic descriptions of inappropriate sexual contact.

Two teachers in the Marshalltown Community School District have been arrested just a week apart, and both are accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with students.

The Marshalltown Police Department says Mark Esquivel was arrested for allegedly having inappropriate text conversations with a 17-year-old student and trying to solicit sexual contact. 

The other teacher arrested, Adam Edgington, is accused of having a relationship with a 13-year-old student that involved kissing on the mouth and other parts of the body. 

"I think it's unfortunate that we've had one of these periods. but to have two in a short period of time is very unfortunate," Marshalltown Police Department Chief Michael Tupper said. 

Tupper said the complaint against Adam Edgington came in on June 23. A day later, on June 24, Tupper said a victim filed a report on Mark Esquivel.

"It's important to note that they're unrelated," Tupper said. "Different employees, different schools and I think it's very unfortunate timing that it occurred within a couple weeks of each other." 

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Tupper said the Marshalltown Police Department investigates 50-60 sex crimes a year, but he can't recall a time where he's had to file charges against a teacher for sexually exploiting a student, and he's been chief for 10 years. 

"I can probably count on one hand before this the number of teachers I've had to investigate in my career let alone arrest," Tupper said. "It doesn't happen very often." 

The chief noted the courage it took the victims to come forward. 

"I applaud both the victims and their families in this case because they all demonstrated a great deal of courage coming forward and talking about what happened," Tupper said. 

Tupper is not just the chief of police. He's also a dad of five, with two of his kids currently enrolled at the Marshalltown Community School District. 

"We shouldn't judge the school district and other school employees based on the acts of individuals," Tupper said. "They're responsible for their own individual actions. I have kids in the district and I will proudly and confidently send my kids to school this fall." 

The school district declined our request for an interview, but they did tell us Edgington is on administrative leave and Esquivel resigned after his arrest. A statement from the district says student safety is the district's number one priority and they take all accusations of crimes very seriously.  

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