By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Willamina teacher arrested for allegedly assaulting her daughter

Heather Hughes
Heather Hughes

Deputies booked the 37-year-old Hughes, who lives in rural Willamina, into the county jail on one count each of first-degree criminal mistreatment and third-degree assault, both Class C felonies. She subsequently secured her release by posting $1,500 against her $15,000 bail.

Hughes is a first-year teacher at the middle school, which includes grades 7-8. She also serves as head coach of the high school’s combined boys and girls track team, which is nearing the end of its season.

Superintendent Gus Forster said she had been placed on paid administrative leave.

He said he would be conferring with Athletic Director Jerry Buczynski about a coaching replacement for the track team. He said an assistant would likely be asked to take over.

The Bulldogs are scheduled to compete in the Regis Twilight Meet at Mount Angel on Friday, then conclude their season with the West Valley League District Meet, set for the weekend of May 15-16 at Dayton.

“She had done some long-term substitute teaching in the district prior to this year,” Forster said. “She’s been a coach for several years.”

Hughes struck her daughter in the face, according to Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Ray. He said they were returning home in a vehicle at the time.

“It was reported to DHS  by a third party,” Ray said, referring to the state Department of Human Services. “Someone could have seen this happen or noticed injuries to the child.

“DHS notified the sheriff’s office. Through an investigation, it was determined there was enough evidence to file charges.”

The investigation was conducted by the sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit. Anyone with potentially useful information is asked to contact detective Nicole Rickles at 503-434-7506 or ricklesn@co.yamhill.or.us.

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