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School district warned of substitute teacher's abuse before arrest


When Maura Benson saw the headline “Former St. Louis County substitute teacher charged with sex crimes,” she said she didn’t even have to read the story to know who the teacher was.

“I knew it was him,” she said of Brandon Holbrook. “I knew it. And that makes me sick to my stomach.”

In an exclusive interview, Benson, 21, told the I-Team she started dating Holbrook when she was a Mehlville High School senior and he was nine years older than her. During their relationship, she said Holbrook confided pedophiliac fantasies to her, verbally and physically abused her and ultimately raped her at his home in January 2021.

She reported the rape, abuse and her concerns about him working around children to the state’s Courage2Report system, which allows victims to make complaints anonymously and notifies police and school districts. She hoped it would stop him from working as a substitute teacher at the Mehlville School District.

But it didn’t.

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