Alarming Spike in Sexual Abuse by Texas Public School Teachers
The first day of summer school took a horrifying turn at Reilly elementary in Austin ISD (AISD) when a 6-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by her 33 year-old teacher Alfredo Andrade-Gaytan. He apparently told the girl to stay in the classroom during recess to "play a game."
KXAN News reported that Andrade-Gaytan was taken into custody on June 13 and formally charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. He has since plead guilty and was being held at Travis County jail on $50,000, although he bonded out on June 18, according to the Austin NBC news affiliate.
Upon his arrest, Andrade-Gaytan was fired by the district. He'd been a teacher since 2005 and was with AISD beginning in 2009, working on several AISD campuses over the years. Before Reilly, he taught 3rd grade at Walnut Creek Elementary, according to Fox 7.
The Austin American Statesman also reported that Andrade-Gaytan was deemed a successful teacher who had no questionable behavior in the past. "There is no previous history. There wasn't any indication of any improprieties that we have on file, said Michael Houser, the district's chief human capital officer. We found nothing that would give any sort of a hint that this would become an issue for the district and for this family."
Some of Andrade-Gaytan's neighbors learned of the assault from a post on a neighborhood association Facebook page, Fox 7 reported. One neighbor was in shock. Andrade-Gaytan had lived in his neighborhood for two years with his wife and two young children, a 6-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter, according to a neighbor.
However, since his arrest, KXAN reported four more students have come forward with sexual abuse allegations. Police are looking into these charges. Parents, too, were concerned and counselors were made available for families at Walnut Creek Elementary School
Police said the 6-year-old victim was doing as well as could be expected, according to the Fox-7 report. On June 14, after Andrade-Gaytan was arrested, AISD sent home a letter to parents to explain the situation. The district followed that up by holding parent meetings on June 16-17 to answer questions and address concerns, Fox-7 also reported.
Before these new allegations surfaced, Police Chief Eric Mendez said about Andrade-Gaytan, "This is not typical behavior. Usually in these types of incidents the suspect knows their victim or intended victim for some time."
Several days earlier, on June 11, a former Abbott ISD teacher was arrested for having an inappropriate relationship with a teenaged student. The Waco Tribune reported that Chrystal Miller, 33, was charged with indecency with a child, online solicitation of a minor and improper relationship between an educator and a 14-year-old student, Hill Country Chief Sheriff's Deputy Mark Wilson said.
She'd been the boy's teacher over the school year and it wasn't until late in the year it turned physical, according to a forensic interview with the boy as well as online and phone evidence seized by police through warrants.
The relationship was discovered by the victim's parent in a Facebook conversation between Miller and the boy. Wilson told the Waco Tribune that the boy was "manipulated." He also said that Miller resigned from her job after deputies confronted her and began questioning her about six weeks
ago. She was arrested on June 11. Her bond was set at $15,000. The article stated she posted bail and was released that evening.
Earlier in June, KHOU news anchor Len Cannon captured the tragic frequency of these sexual misconduct stories by prefacing his news segment about Daimon Sweet, a 44-year-old male and former Katy (ISD) teacher being charged with criminal sexual charges for an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old female student by saying "in an almost routine" story.
Sweet resigned from Morton Ranch High School on May 19 following police officers' investigation into similar allegations of misconduct with a minor. This was sparked by an anonymous text message detailing the alleged teacher/student affair sent to a school administrator on May 15. Sweet was arrested on June 4 by the school district and charged with felony improper relationship.
"Providing a safe and secure learning environment is our top priority, and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety of our students," Katy ISD officials said in a news release, according to the KHOU report.
Also on June 4, the Dallas Morning News reported that a DeSoto ISD teacher, Pamela Leone Jones, 35, was initially accused of sexually assaulting two of her 16-year-old male students. The article also stated that Jones was arrested by US Marshals and charged with two counts of sexual assault. Jones worked at DeSoto Alternative School.
Inklings about this situation started to surface when the first student claimed that Jones "came to his aunt's apartment on April 26, where they had sex in her car," the story noted, also sharing that the incident with the second student took place on May 31.
Jones invited the other 16-year-old male to her home. The Dallas Morning News also stated, "According to the student's affidavit, Jones' children were at home at the time of the incident." He said that Jones left her children in the care of his friend while they had sex.
An even stranger twist in the story was that Jones was listed as an active DeSoto ISD employee but the district insisted she worked for the residential teen treatment facility Athletes for Change, according to the Dallas Morning News article. Even the district superintendent David C. Harris issued a statement foisting Jones
onto Athletes for Change, with whom he said DeSoto ISD had a working relationship. Jones was held at the Dallas County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail .
In May, Breitbart Texas reported on a similar situation where a teacher had sex in the car but it was with only one under-aged student.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.